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Bioethics briefing no 4: xenotransplantation

As human-to-human transplantation has become more and more successful, it has almost become a victim of its own success. There is a shortage of donor organs, and even with more government initiatives to change the organ donor register system, there will still be a shortfall. Would animal cells, organs and tissues be able to fill this gap? There are a lot of immunological problems associated with this type of transplantation, there are the ethical issues surrounding the breeding of genetically modified animals (such as pigs), there are psychological issues for people in receipt of these types of donor organs, and there are arguments in favour of the use of animal donor organs. These areas are all covered in this briefing.

This resource is part of the Post 16 genetics and genomics collection of resources.

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