Losing the Humanity of Transplants

January 18, 2019

In December, the FDA approved a small trial in Boston to graft genetically modified pig skin onto human burn victims. It’s a small step for what is called xenotransplantation (transplanting from one species to another). The trial doesn’t involve an internal organ, and the grafts are meant to be temporary. But it is the first FDA approval since the profession imposed a moratorium on itself 20 years ago, and it comes from advances in gene-editing technology, which suggests that more such efforts are on the way.