Scientist Works To Grow Human Organs In Pigs

STATNEWS – October 20, 2017: Like many of the scientists who helped usher in the groundbreaking creation of a part-human, part-animal chimera earlier this year, biologist Dr. Pablo Juan Ross is no stranger to cutting-edge tools such as CRISPR and stem cells. But he also knows his way around the inside of a pig uterus.

While growing human cells inside fetal pigs involved some of science’s fanciest new tricks, it also required something decidedly more mundane: a farm, stocked with livestock and staffed with people like Ross who know how to handle them.

Trained as a veterinarian and animal scientist, Ross works at the University of California, Davis, where hay is piled two-stories high on Dairy Road, signs read “Meat sales today,” cows graze next to soccer fields, and the swine facility, filled with squealing black and white Hampshire piglets, has its own Facebook page.

Without Ross and his deep understanding of the peculiarities of various livestock species and their embryos, the daunting chimera experiments might not have been possible.

“He was indispensable,” said Jun Wu, a human stem cell expert at the Salk Institute who found himself in the unlikely position of helping hoist a 200-pound sow onto an operating table during one of his visits here to work with Ross. Link: Read Complete Article

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