Why giving pigs a dash of human DNA could lead to medical breakthroughs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration before use in people. Pigs make better medical research subjects than mice because they are closer to humans in size, , and .

In recent years, has found a way to make pigs an even closer stand-in for humans. We have successfully transferred components of the . This breakthrough has the potential to accelerate medical research in many areas, including and vaccine research, as well as and .

Existing biomedical models

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or SCID, is a genetic condition that causes impaired development of the immune system. People can develop SCID, “.” Other animals can develop SCID, too, including mice.

Researchers in the 1980s for further study. Such mice are called “humanized” mice and have been optimized over the to study many questions relevant to human health.

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