March 09, 2006
Pig Islet Cells Control Diabetes In Rhesus Macaque Monkeys

The promise of xenotransplantation:

ATLANTA -- Islet cell xenotransplantation presents a promising near-term solution to the critically low islet cell supply for humans suffering from type 1 diabetes, according to researchers from the Emory Transplant Center, the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University and the University of Alberta, Canada. The Emory/Yerkes researchers successfully transplanted and engrafted insulin-producing neonatal porcine islet cells harvested by the University of Alberta researchers into diabetic rhesus macaque monkeys, restoring the monkeys' glucose control and resulting in sustained insulin independence. This research, published in the February 26 advanced online edition of Nature Medicine, also examines the effectiveness of a costimulation blockade-based regimen developed at Emory proven to have fewer toxic side effects than currently used immunosuppressive regimens, and provides essential answers to the possibility of cross-species viral transmission, a common concern of xenotransplantation use in humans.

If we had a much larger effort aimed at implementing all the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) there'd be a lot more money available for genetically engineering pigs to become more immuno-compatible with humans. That would make xenotransplantation a lot easier.

We need replacement parts. We should be trying much harder to develop them.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2006 March 09 09:32 PM  Biotech Organ Replacement

Michael Anissimov said at March 9, 2006 11:21 PM:

Big kudos for plugging SENS!

Randall Parker said at March 10, 2006 3:59 PM:


I plug SENS almost every time I talk about aging. It is the most important technological goal we could possibly pursue (with the possible exception of asteroid deflection).

We ought to have a massive Manhattan Project scale effort to develop SENS technologies. We should be spending at least $100 billion per year on it and even more as we scale up our capacity to do science.

aa2 said at March 12, 2006 4:58 PM:

Think of the money we spend on cancer treatment to give someone an extra few years of life. Think of what we spend on making the roads safer each year to prevent loss of life. The US spends at least 1.5 trillion dollars a year on medical care today. And Europe and developed asia spend about half as much per capita, adding at least another 1.5 trillion. 100 billion dollars imo is a reasonable number that nations around the world combined should spend researching aging and how to slow it down/reverse.

Another comparison is the money governments are throwing at bird flu which simply has a chance at becoming an epidemic.

Randall Parker said at March 12, 2006 5:28 PM:


Since the US economy's now nearly $13 trillion and 15% goes to medical care the costs are even higher.

kevin said at March 26, 2006 4:50 PM:

everyone should examine the science being developed by microislet,inc in sandeigo,ca

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