Science: Health: Surgery
Early foetal human / animal organ transplant inoculations   (+7)  [vote for, against]
Simply inject the foetus with donor animal stem cells

If you introduce foreign stem cells into a foetus before the immune system has developed when it does kick in & calibrate itself it will recognise the foreign cells as native to the organism & won’t reject them.

We know it works because if it didn’t the Cambridge Geep (created by mashing two equally developed early embryos from a goat & sheep together while they were still just little balls of unformed cells) could never have existed.

This happens constantly in nature – an awful lot of us who had siblings in the womb will have small colonies of cells that migrated to us in the womb.

Sometimes only one of a multiple pregnancy makes it to term so it can also happen with single births.

They don’t even have to be the same sex.

One well-known actress has a small percentage of cells carrying XY chromosomes floating around her body.

And no she’s not a hermaphrodite – you need a lot more than a few migratory floaters for that, probably a 50/50 split – which requires two equally developed embryos to merge in the womb during early development.

If you introduce a few stray stem cells from a younger foetus into an older embryo that’s further along developmentally they essentially go native taking their cues from the cells around them & the organism they find themselves in.

When it’s done that way the foreign cells have zero input in the development of the foetus.

You wont end up with a chimerical creature like you do when an equal quantity of cells at the same stage of development are mashed together (like the Geep was).

Monkeys injected with human stem cells this way look exactly like monkeys, act exactly like monkeys & are just monkeys.

Pigs injected with human stem cells in an attempt to cut down on tissue rejection in trans species transplants of their organs (a completely fruitless avenue of research) are also just pigs & have never displayed any non-pig qualities.

So humans injected with pig stem cells at a comparatively late stage of development can be expected to be in no way affected by it.

What it would mean is that their immune system when it does kick in & calibrate will then forever after recognise those pig cells as belonging & won’t attack them if any organs from that individual animal (or one of the same tissue type) is transplanted later in life.

No tissue rejection – limitless supplies of organ, blood & skin for emergency grafts.

If you carefully choose an animal without any lethal recessives (so it can breed with itself) – use chromosomal engineering to insure all it’s chromosomes are mirrored pairs with both sides the same – clone it, take a cell samples & swap out the y chromosome for a copy of the x chromosome (assuming it’s male of course, otherwise swap in a y chromosome) & re-clone it using those cells.

You then have a male & female that you can breed from normally & all the offspring whether male or female will essentially be clones of the one animal.

So you can then just breed herds of organ replacement pigs without all the expensive lab techniques.

I suggest pigs because the organs are generally about the right size for humans plus their skin is similar to peoples so it could be used for emergency skin grafts (a definite advantage over goats or sheep) – I say emergency grafts because it won’t match perfectly (not for everyone) but it will certainly do until enough of a bodies own skin cells can be cultured to provide a more cosmetically appealing result.

Some people might worry about people giving birth to piglets or human pig hybrids if the guest cells end up in the testis or ovaries but this really shouldn't be a problem.

1. The guest cells tend to stay where they are put – so inject them in the sole of the foot.

2. Pig sperm can’t penetrate a human egg cell (& vice versa) – if it could then what with all the farmyard perverts that have existed through the centuries it would already have happened.

3. Even if the sperm could penetrate the egg human & pig DNA should be incompatible & unable to mesh - we also have a different number of chromosomes (ok so chromosomal mismatch isn't always a complete bar to reproduction, it's not making it any easyer though is it).

4. If the chromosomes & DNA found a way to hook up the incompatibilities should create enough lethal combinations to prevent any embryo coming to term – enough embryos with two human genetic parents have development issues that prevent them coming to term, so really, what chance do you really think a half human hybrid has.

5. And even if they were genetically & chromosomally viable a human womb is a hostile environment for a pig foetus – temperature & ph levels are all wrong & it can be a pretty hostile place for fully human embryos (case in point, I’m rhesus negative & mum is rhesus positive, she miscarried a previous rhesus negative before me so her immune system was loaded with antibodies that tried to kill me in the womb & I came out severely jaundiced) so once again what chance do you really think a half human foetus would have in a human womb.

6. Besides all that the cells might not need to survive in the body for long past the immune systems calibration so they could be chemically coshed to prevent cell division before injection (individual cells should last long enough) – or else killed off after the baby was a few months old using the targeted drug delivery methods being developed for gene therapy & cancer treatments.

Some research has been put into making animal organs more compatible for human transplant.

Injecting human stem cells into the animal foetus so it has a small percentage of compatible cells for one - but these cells still need to be tissue typed for the recipient – so even if that worked you’d have to maintain several herds (one for each tissue type) – & it doesn’t work anyway.

With that method the vast majority of the cells are still pig cells, so still rejected, will be killed by the immune system & then rot inside you resulting in gangrene & blood poisoning, which would kill you if it wasn’t for the fact that not enough of the organs cells remain for it to function so you die from the resulting organ failure first.

<Much (much) Later Edit>

Added here to avoid dragging this back to the top & annoying anyone who thought they were done with it ;)

As I said the 'guest' cells stay where you put them & a subsequent Google search suggest the technique is to inject enough cells in specific organs so human cells will be in the majority in them.

So it does work but the patient has to wait for their organ (the animal) to grow, not much use for a fast illnesses or violent accident.

<End of Edit>

Unless you take immune system suppressants – & then the first time you catch a common cold it develops into full- blown hypothermia & you die.

Another approach might be injecting pig nucleic DNA into a human egg cell & then cloning it.

This would produce a perfectly normal pig in all respects.

As the mitochondria doesn’t have any expression in the organism proper, it merely governs cell chemistry

So I suppose some things like the inability (or not) to properly metabolise certain foodstuffs might be seated there (like lactose intolerance?).

Which could explain why some transplant patients claim cravings for foods they didn’t like before but their donor did.

They’ve just had a chunk of their body replaced with cells that may have slightly different chemical / nutritional requirements from their own & the bodies hormonal system prompted by those cells is just telling them what the cells need?

Anyway I’m going off topic – switching a pigs mitochondria & (presumably) its cell wall shape & structure this way might be hoped to cut down on tissue rejection.

But - going back to my mums immune system (the one that tried to kill me in the womb) it’s clear that, as we share the same mitochondria, tissue type isn’t determined by that (at least not alone).

So that doesn’t work either - I’ve never heard of anyone doing any research on it anyway.

So none of the approaches for adapting the animal organs to be less prone to tissue rejection I’ve come across (or am able to think of) appear to work.

While inoculating the foetus in the womb against rejection of the animal tissue will (or so it seems).

And yet I can’t find a smidgen of a hint anywhere that anyone else has considered this.

Oh I know the usual suspects (religious nutters & the ‘moral majority’) would all throw a fit.

But really:

How’s it any worse than rubbing pus from a cowpox pustule into a small cut in a child’s arm to protect them from smallpox (the original vaccination).

Its not like vaccinations have really changed any since then, most are still essentially a small dose of chemically stunned or weakened virus.

Under the guidance of the state parents routinely inject alien DNA into their children & no one ever bats an eyelid so why not this.

And just think of the benefits – of course it’s not much good for those of us that are already here (accept that it will protect a lot of our existing medical resources from expanding pressures from new births).

Thoughts? ;)
-- Skewed, May 30 2014

Stem cell swapping Stem_20cell_20swapping
[Skewed, Jun 01 2014]

Blood Groups
[Skewed, Jun 01 2014]

Tissue Typing http://www.gosh.nhs...or-kidney-donation/
[Skewed, Jun 01 2014]

HLA Nomenclature
[Skewed, Jun 01 2014]

The Contribution Of Farm Animals To Human Health
[Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

Cell Therapy - Wikipedia
[Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

Xeno's Paradox http://www.ncbi.nlm...rticles/PMC2711826/
[Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

Ethics Of Chimeric Animals http://triplehelixb...-and-organ-growing/
I really only included this for the first sentence - 100,000 people waiting for transplants in the US alone, & getting worse - made me think that [Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

The Immune System http://www.cancer.g...munesystem/AllPages
This one is the best of these three [Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

Immune Response http://www.nlm.nih..../article/000821.htm
[Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

What Is The Immune System http://www.patient....h/the-immune-system
[Skewed, Jun 02 2014]

Baked at least fourteen years before. https://books.googl...v=onepage&q&f=false
Xeno: The Promise of Transplanting Animal Organs into Humans, Oxford University Press 2000, by David Cooper & Robert Lanza, "The Induction of Chimerism Before Birth" at the end, page 117 onward in this Google Books link. [Skewed, Mar 23 2018]

a 2014 article outlining the idea in
In utero hematopoietic cell transplantation: induction of donor specific immune tolerance and postnatal transplants [Skewed, Dec 29 2018]

PermaPet PermaPet
How to make some money with it while you wait for approval for human trials [Skewed, Mar 06 2021]

<pulls up a stump and gets comfy>
I have no thoughts on this topic yet, but I can't wait to read the discussion.

-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 31 2014

You clearly know where the actual period key is, because you managed to use it for delimiting your ordered list. What you apparently are not aware of is that the big key labeled “enter” does not also produce any sort of mark that's appropriate for ending a sentence without a paragraph break.
-- ytk, May 31 2014

//can be expected to be in no way effected by it in any way// oink!
-- pocmloc, May 31 2014

This is a very interesting idea.

Sorry I can't bun it. I think humanity is moving away from animal exploitation rather than towards it. I see your comment about moral majority, and we've all likely benefited from animal-based medical research. But aren't vat grown human organs a more likely outcome?

Welcome to HB.
-- the porpoise, May 31 2014

Allow me to be the third person to welcome you to the Half Bakery.
-- Voice, May 31 2014

Allow me to be the first person to endorse [Voice]'s welcome.

Re. the idea - is there an executive summary with punctuation?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

Perhaps all the punctuation was eaten by a transgenic piglet.
-- pocmloc, May 31 2014

;) Welcome.
-- blissmiss, May 31 2014

I like it. And easy to test with the critters first: get dogs ready for their pig parts.

I think that there may be more primal forms of rejection of xenotransplants than act to reject transplants from humans. My recollection is that xenotransplants are rejected really fast - like hours.
-- bungston, May 31 2014

//My recollection is that xenotransplants are rejected really fast - like hours//

Depends on the animal, it's actually safer to get a blood transfusion from a chimp of the right blood type than from a human of the wrong blood type.
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

//Would it be kosher after the operation ?//

Clearly not :)

We could use sheep for those of the jewish faith (lambs seem suitably biblical after all). The jehovahs are beyond help of course (I understand they won't even take a human blood transfusion if they need one?).
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

Oh no. Now ya done it. Gone and opened the religion can of worms. See you in a week, when the discussion is over, [Skewed]
-- blissmiss, May 31 2014

// it's actually safer to get a blood transfusion from a chimp of the right blood type than from a human of the wrong blood type//

I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you there. Anyone who has approached an adult chimpanzee with a needle will tell you that it anything but safe.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

//aren't vat grown human organs a more likely outcome?//

Probably, but I see this idea as complimentary.

Vat grown organs take time & this could be used for emergency treatment while you wait for the new vat grown organs.

Ok so we do have dialysis machines & the like. But most of our machine alternatives are cumbersome & severly restrictive to mobility & lifestyle. This seems better in almost every way I can think of.

Plus it would probably be a lot cheaper & if vat- grown organs end up in private industry (which seems possible) then this would provide an alternative for those that couldn’t afford them (even if it also ends up in the private sector it would still be a cheaper alternative).
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

Thanks for the welcomes guys.

Hmm - I should probably have started from the top & worked down with the comments.
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

Ah yes, punctuation.

I should have known better (I did read the Wikipedia page on the sight after all).

Sorry about that, not my strong point, I'll make more effort in future (& have a glance over what I’ve already typed).


[Pocmioc], on a similar note, assuming your referring to the unnecessary double emphasis (& not simply expressing a general scepticism of the statement) I'll remove the last three words.
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

So, in brief*: put pig stem cells into humans in utero or neonatally, so that they will tolerate donor organs from clonal pigs in adult life. Yes?

Not a bad idea. Howevertheless, it'll face huge issues being approved. I suspect that it will be even harder because it would need to be done to healthy fetuses or neonates - i.e. it meets a potential rather than existing clinical need.

Then again, it's very clear that medical technology is going to outstrip regulatory approval more and more over the coming decades. There will be a growing trend for people to educate themselves and take medical decisions regardless of the regulatory environment.

So, a tentative [+].

*Beware of vernonization. Keep the distance between the first and last sentences as small as possible.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

//Beware of vernonization// Made me laugh.
-- blissmiss, May 31 2014

//Oh no. Now ya done it. Gone and opened the religion can of worms//

Just responding to a valid question :)

Any new tech (especially in medical fields) needs to consider the moral ethical & religious sensitivities of the prospective customers.
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

// Any new tech (especially in medical fields) needs to consider the moral ethical & religious sensitivities of the prospective customers.//

Nah. Screw 'em.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

[Skewed], just trying to warn you. The mere speaketh of the word religion in here can cost you hours of defending your moral stance, if you chose to. I used to, in 2001. Gave it up Lent.
-- blissmiss, May 31 2014

//So, in brief*: put pig stem cells into humans in utero or neonatally//


//it'll face huge issues being approved//



Unless that's a reference to something by Richard Stern I'm confused?

As for keeping things concise, that I understand. It's not always easy when your minds spinning though :)
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

////vernonization//? //

You will become familiar with the phenomenon that is [vernon] sooner or later.

Vernonization is the tendency to use ten words when none would do.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

[MaxwellBuchanan], ah yes, now I see, already very familiar with vernonization (just didn't have a label for it).

Unfortunately I think I may actually be vernon (or have been him in a prior life) :(
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

//Nah. Screw 'em.//

When it comes to pure research I would tend to agree (exclusive of any funding issues that might arise from the attitude of course).

But for any commercial development I’d have to disagree (not much point developing something for the market if no one wants to buy it).
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

//I may actually be vernon (or have been him in a prior life)//

That's very unlikely. Assuming that he types at a normal speed, calculations reveal that he has been in continuous existence for at least 158,000 years.

Of course, he still finds time to punctuate.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

//not much point developing something for the market if no one wants to buy it//

With the possible exception of vegetarian sausages, morality very rarely has any impact on market penetration. If you can devise an effective anti- wrinkle cream that depends on cells harvested from the pituitary glands of baby pandas, you'll sell all you can make.

For example, the second largest export market for Melton Mowbray pork pies is Azerbaijan, which is reportedly over 99% muslim.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

//That's very unlikely. Assuming that he types at a normal speed, calculations reveal that he has been in continuous existence for at least 158,000 years.//

Ah, here I have to rely on Pratchett.

"Everything that happens happens. Everything that in happening causes itself to happen again happens again. But not necessarily in chronological order."

Paraphrased of course, & doubtless he took it from elsewhere.

In other words reincarnation doesn’t necessarily happen in order, you can be before you were, or at the same time :)
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

Ah, but [vernon] is, as far as we are aware, still alive. The odds of there being one [vernon] on an inhabited planet are minuscule. The odds of there being two are microscule.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

//The odds of there being two are microscule.//

Not a million to one by any chance?

Because going back to Pratchett that would make it a dead cert. Of course if he’s been around that long presumably he’s bred, so maybe I’m just related.
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

The odds of Pratchett being correct on statistical matters are a million to one.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

//I think humanity is moving away from animal exploitation rather than towards//

[The porpoise], I disagree.

With modern developments in genetics & cell biology the emphasis is shifting from the macro (or whole) animal exploitation, but in many ways it just disguises the continuing use of animals (take the spider silk goat for instance). Besides, we’ll never stop eating meat or wearing leather (regardless of what Roddenberry (the father of Star Trek) might have thought or a minority may espouse). Biologically we're natural omnivores & always will be (if that changed we’d have evolved into a new species).
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

//The odds of Pratchett being correct on statistical matters are a million to one.//


Case proved ;p
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

//I think humanity is moving away from animal exploitation rather than towards//

I also disagree. Biology is the new silicon chip.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, May 31 2014

You're recommending that a single herd of pigs be used for everyone? I assume that because of the number of pigs you'd need otherwise.

Do you see a slight possible problem with there being a genetic sequence/cell markers that every single human on the planet (or even a large percentage) treats as native rather than a foreign invader? Yes, it's possible, even probable, that no virus or bacteria will pick up the genes by lateral transfer or random mutation, but the results if one did don't justify the risk.
-- MechE, May 31 2014

// transplants of their organs (a completely fruitless avenue of research)

1) I am relieved to find out the early "Howabout replacing Mr X's diseased heart with a mango?" phase of experimentation has passed.

2) Would it not be an idea to plant some fruit trees along the avenues near the [biological research place] and then they'd have to say something else, and have a source of nutritious fruit to hand?
-- not_morrison_rm, May 31 2014

//You're recommending that a single herd of pigs be used for everyone?//

Only in the sense they would all be clones of the same animal.

For various reasons several geographically separate herds should be maintained. You don't want to lose the lot in one go if disease (or a meteor) struck your only herd of organ transplant pigs.
-- Skewed, May 31 2014

Is herd the correct word to describe a group of pigs?
-- pocmloc, Jun 01 2014

I was thinking of tidying this up a bit, but before I do I just want to check on accepted etiquette re pruning & editing extant copy.

There are bits in the original post that add nothing to the core proposal & can be lost (musings on non-hermaphrodite actresses for one & anything to do with approaches to adapting animal organs to be less prone to tissue rejection for another). Aside from that only those off topic posts making exclusive mention of Vernon or Pratchett (mostly mine, well, mostly half mine) immediately spring to mind as possible pruning victims.

I’ll be of screen for about a day (at least) so I’ll check back for responses to this & do it after I’ve read them (if at all).
-- Skewed, Jun 01 2014

A pokey of pigs is what we call them around the Mid- West, USA. (lie, blatant lie alert!)
-- blissmiss, Jun 01 2014

//The NRA will be pleased//

//Half the fun// //is seeing how long an idea goes before descending into rants about religion or gun control//

Which is why you poked the sleeping bear? :)

I was only really thinking of tidying the idea up. I have to agree it’s overly long poorly presented (& yes, badly punctuated). The only posts I was half thinking of trimming were maybe the last couple or three regarding Vernon after [Max] had defined him for me.
-- Skewed, Jun 01 2014

[Max] defining [Vernon] would be an idea in and of itself, me thinks.
-- blissmiss, Jun 01 2014

//Only in the sense they would all be clones of the same animal. //

Which doesn't answer my basic safety concern. I repeat that poking a uniform hole in everyone's immune system seems like a bad idea.
-- MechE, Jun 01 2014

//poking a uniform hole in everyone's immune system seems like a bad idea// They said that about the Giant Carnivorous Hybrid Capybara project*. Only one way to find out.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 01 2014

[Skewed], while I understand the urge to tidy and edit for flow, etc., there are some here who delete annos for reasons other than those. I recommend against deleting annos in general unless they are personal attacks or worse.

In the end it's your call but pixels are cheap, and in a format like this where any member can append an opinion it's probably only going to frustrate you if you hope to prune this into an idea bonzai.
-- normzone, Jun 01 2014

[*and they were wrong, of course. The Giant Carnivorous Hybrid Capybaras are thriving.]
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 01 2014

//Which doesn't answer my basic safety concern//

[MechE], sorry, you’re right, it doesn’t, I hadn’t slept for about two days when you posted so my attempted response was very incoherent (even for me) & it’s a reasonable question many would ask so I really did want the answer to make sense, so I put it off, I really should have got back to you on this before now.

If you were on at the time last night you might have seen me post, edit & delete two answers in quick succession.

Changed my mind about what you were asking, changed it back, decided everything I’d said in both replies was irrelevant to your question or garbage (or both), gave it up as a bad job & went to look at other threads.

Which all leads me to suggest a beer on top of forty-eight hours of sleep deprivation maybe isn’t the best way of stimulating any form of cogent thought.

I’ve only had around five hours sleep since so I doubt I’ll do much better now, but anyway.

I looked into the question four years ago when I first had this idea & dismissed it so thoroughly in my own mind as a concern that (not having thought about it since) I’ve forgotten most (if not all) of the reasons why.

I’ll have a bash at it now (though I’m thinking [Max] is probably better qualified to field this one, if his profile can be believed?).

Well what are we doing, adding a cell (the pigs) that the organism (the foetus) will accept as it’s own.

So how does the immune system recognise it’s own cells, it can’t read the DNA, that’s buried in the middle of the cell so it can’t get to it, so it must recognise cell walls, protein markers or cell products expressed in the cell wall or released from it.

The immune system is also demonstrably programmable so presumably it builds up some kind of pattern recognition when it first comes on line.

It can’t rely an a single protein marker (or whatever) for each tissue type as a key to tell it a cells friendly or the viruses & bacteria would have stumbled across all of them long ago, so it’s a lot more than that.

Now viruses aren’t cells they’re strands of free swimming DNA, so they can’t mimic whatever the immune system is using to recognise its own (no cell wall etc).

Bacteria already have their own distinctive cell walls & protein markers. If they could slough it off & replace it with the pigs they wouldn’t be bacteria, they’d be viruses.

What a virus can do is hide away inside a cell, but they can do that with a human cell anyway so where’s the increased risk (the immune system mostly gets them when they’re migrating to new cells or target the cells they occupy when they start producing proteins (DNA strands etc) they shouldn’t, & whether in a pig cell or a human cell the triggers the immune system is responding to will be the same).

Sorry if I’ve not made it overly clear, still not feeling totally chipper.

If I’ve made any major errors that anyone who actually has training in the area has spotted I’d be grateful to have them pointed out & corrected.

I’ve added a couple of links that may help show how complex the tissue typing can be.
-- Skewed, Jun 01 2014

//Now viruses aren’t cells they’re strands of free swimming DNA, so they can’t mimic whatever the immune system is using to recognise its own (no cell wall etc). //

They aren't exactly free swimming DNA, they have a nice little thing called the capsid, which is a protein shell. While not quite the same as the cell wall, if the virus mimics an accepted protein structure, that's going to cause problems. And contrary to your statement, I would suggest that a single (or very narrow range of) protein would be sufficient, and the reason virii haven't adapted is because it is different for every person (not quite every, but enough variation exists).

As far as bacteria, no, they can't adapt en masse, but a single protein in common is going to be a survival advantage in that host (slight decrease in the chance of attack if the particular Dendritic cell keys to the particular protein). If it is a survival advantage in all hosts, then the adaptation will be extremely rapid. So you have one protein in common, and lots more mutation going on. Want to bet how quickly it can get close enough that the body can't tell the difference?

And this ignores the issue of lateral DNA transfer in both virii and bacteria.
-- MechE, Jun 01 2014

Hmm - that then could well be a problem with all your clone herds based on a single cloned individual.

Your sure about single (or very narrow range of) protein.... scrub that, of course you are.

In that case we'd have to spread the load over several cell lines. any suggestion on how many would be safe?
-- Skewed, Jun 01 2014

//Want to bet how quickly it can get close enough that the body can't tell the difference?//

Considering how fast the suckers breed I wouldn't be surprised by days, or less.
-- Skewed, Jun 01 2014

Yeast re-working own DNA in situ in a very stressed environment.

Damned if I can find the news story, think it was one of Helen Causton's papers.
-- not_morrison_rm, Jun 01 2014

I'd just like to say wow, the first genetic engineering idea I've read here that is truly bun-worthy, not written by [beanangel], and not dismissed as GM magic.

The pedants might point out that the word you're looking for is affected, not effected. Affect is the verb.

For a good intro to the bakery, look up [krelnik]'s guide for newbies, read anything written by [Farmerjohn] or [lostdog] or [bristolz]. And you've clearly done your homework by quoting Pratchett.
-- RayfordSteele, Jun 01 2014

//And this ignores the issue of lateral DNA transfer in both virii and bacteria.//

Ah now here you're talking about transgenic viruses & this providing additional opportunities for pig diseases to pick up a few genes by lateral transfer.

If you're right about single (or very narrow range of) protein keys that really is a problem for a single cell line clone herd, though hopefully fixable by using multiple herds each of a different cell line.

But this is different, transgenic viruses hop the species barrier all the time & we deal with them (with greater or lesser success granted). It’s simply an issue of good practice (herd hygiene & regular disease testing) & one of the reasons you’d keep multiple geographically isolated herds, obviously more rigorous than anything used for food stock & up to speck for medical purposes (each animal tested & screened before use etc), but this I can’t see as anything new that we don’t already face one way or another & that can’t be managed with adequate regulatory & quality control.
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

//Yeast re-working own DNA in situ in a very stressed environment.//

[not morrison] Tried dumping the whole lot into Google as read, it sent me to a page with an opening line that reads "I have recently completed 2 stool sample tests"

I really hope that wasn't what you were looking for :)
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

So... the questions then become; do we really want our kids to be Guinea-pigs?
or Long-Pork?,
or even fewer degrees separated from Kevin Bacon than they already now are?

Would they want that?
Would you ever wish your parents had let people do that to you?
Will we be able to make a silk purse form a human ear?
Would we be tastier?

There're just so many questions.
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 02 2014

[2 fries]

Nah - I'd use real Guinea-pigs (probably taste better).

They already are.

Mr. bacon's begun to look a bit shifty in those adverts - so the further away the better :)

Haven’t asked them yet – could take a while to get a response though (they need to be conceived first).

Hell yes!

A bit tangential isn’t it? – I can honestly say I hadn't considered the benefits of silkworm DNA (but if that’s what you want) we can make a spider silk goat so I don't see why not?

Shouldn't think so – apparently we taste like pork already, but saltier (so a little less salty perhaps?)
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

Thanks for the feedback on pruning guys, decided to leave it as is & just edit the odd bit of spelling or punctuation.

//Don't think of the HB as a patent application //

[bigsleep] Patent application? I actually posted this to get holes poked in it, couldn’t believe I might have actually thought of something but couldn't find any flaws in the basic idea ;P

If you want the honest truth I first came up with this idea as spin off from character development for a mad scientist with an ongoing super soldier project that I was writing up for a cross over vampire / mage game.

Quickly convinced myself it would really work & was stunned to find no mention of any research or even a paper on the potential when I looked.

Still looking & still not found, maybe I’m using the wrong search parameters?

//just don't reply to the trolls//

But I like trolls! They’re cute & dribble such nice green gook :)

[RayfordSteele], thanks, I'll look at them later.
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

//Don't think of the HB as a patent application //

It’s not an idea you can patent anyway, all the material used is material already in the public domain, it’s a technique & you can’t patent them any more than you can a business model or go down to the ministry of silly walks & patent your very own silly walk.

"Why Can't I Patent a Discovery I Made? Even if you make a new and useful scientific discovery that no one else has ever thought of, you cannot get a patent on it because you did not actually create the fact you discovered. That fact was always in existence, you were just the first to notice it. However, if you can come up with an invention that makes use of that fact, you can patent the invention."

"Question: What cannot be patented? Answer: · Laws of nature · Physical phenomena · Abstract ideas"

If it is a new idea & ever got used it'd still be nice to get a credit somewhere for coming up with it - I’ve never had an original thought before, still not sure I have :)

Assuming it doesn't all go horribly wrong of course, in which case I had nothing to do with it ;P
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

// it’s a technique & you can’t patent them any more than you can a business model or go down to the ministry of silly walks & patent your very own silly walk//

Not necessarily so. There are various classes of patent (at least in Europe/UK - not sure about US but I think so), including process patents. I think they're harder to defend than other classes, but they exist.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

[Maxwell], unfortunately for me a process patent needs you to show the process is workable by testing it.

Assuming animal trials are acceptable that needs a lab with appropriate equipment & several acres for your test subjects (I couldn’t be doing with mice, they’re just so fiddly).

I could maybe scratch up £6,000 at a stretch & have no formal (& precious little informal) education or hands on experience in appropriate fields (so a backer is unlikely).

Not going to happen :)

Plus as you said they're not overly easy to defend. On top of that I think current UK legislation would make its use illegal (so there’s no profit to be had in it without first securing legislative change)
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

So how hard would be to infect a large number of people with cancerous pig cells? Of course it might be mitigated somewhat because everyone infected would have the same cancer and a well targeted treatment could be developed probably before too many people died.

Welcome and [+] by the way. It's definitely an interesting idea.
-- scad mientist, Jun 02 2014

[scad mientist], Your thinking of the kind of problem they're having with the Tasmanian devil are you?

Sounds like a reason for multiple geographically isolated herds & not transporting animals between them.

The first step is slaughter any infected herd (bacon sandwich anyone?) & choose some rigorously screened animals from the remaining herds to start breeding up a replacement for it. That stops further infection from source.

After that you just treat those infected in the same way as for any other cancer. Of course as the cancer in question is propagating from a separate genetic cell line than that of the host treatment is relatively easy. You use gene therapy & targeted drug therapy to kill the pig cells (already in clinical use if memory serves).

There’s no reason the infection should have spread from the original foetal stem cell injections (they should have been produced from lab grown cell lines that had been verified clear of any kind of problem like this) but if it did bin the stem cell line, use medical birth records to identify everyone else inoculated from it (so you catch them before they even experience any symptoms) & use the same treatment.

It shouldn't have come from infected implant organs either (they should have been screened), it’s a tad more difficult if it did, kill the pig cells & you kill the organ, so you’ll need a dialyses machine (or what's appropriate to the organ) to take over its function while the cells are killed, then you replace it with one from a properly screened animal from a clean herd. And then go home (stopping at a lawyers on the way to instigate medical malpractice proceedings for failing to screen the original organ before use).

If it does come from implant organs only a small number of people should be affected before it’s spotted.

-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

//I am relieved to find out the early "Howabout replacing Mr X's diseased heart with a mango?" phase of experimentation has passed.//

[not_Morrison_rm], I thought it had, but recent surfing disabuses me of the notion. Apparently the artificial alternatives haven’t lived up to expectations so it’s picking up again. There’s mention on some of the links, but it doesn't look like they ever expect to do it without a lifelong course of anti rejection drugs.

Personally I think they’ve got it arse about face, a bit like someone not reading the instructions & taking a suppository aurally.
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

//OCD therapy//

[bigsleep], ‘Optical Character Definition therapy’?
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

Actually, if you were going to do this, you'd probably want to engineer your pigs to have a unique drug susceptibility so that, if needs be, you could zap them easily.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

Sounds like one of the easier genetic twists to perform from what I read.
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

[scad_mientist], your question has suggested an alternative deluxe package to me. Duplicate everything with sheep. Then loving parents with enough coin can buy their as yet unborn foetus inoculation for both sheep & pig transplants. So if they do ever need the pig cells eradicated they can just swap their pig organs for sheeps' & it’s outpatient all the way for the pig cell eradication treatment :D
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

//one of the easier genetic twists to perform//

Yes. There's a bunch of selectable markers (both positive and negative) for eukaryotic cells.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

Actually another method just occurred, production of antibodies to attack the offending pig cells can be stimulated in a another animal (a pig with a different tissue type perhaps) by introducing small amounts of the offending cells.

Harvest these & inject them.

You don’t want any antibodies mixed in that attack the human cells & you don’t want the human immune system attacking the antibodies, so the pig growing them will be transgenic, which means the virulence of the cancer & the time frame you have for treatment are factors.

Treat pig foetus with the patients cells, after it’s born, a bone marrow transplant from patient to piglet (while it’s small so you don’t need a lot).

Let it grow to an adequate size to be able to draw sufficient quantities of blood & you can start.

What’s that, a four month turn around say?
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

You really don't want to use non-human antibodies as therapeutics if you can avoid it. They illicit their own immune response.

You should really use humanized antibodies (ie, antibodies raised initially in rats, mice or whatever; then engineered to be more like human antibodies whilst retaining the specificity of the original), because (a) they work a lot better and (b) the royalties keep me in Jaguars.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

An awful lot of effort, the drug susceptibility is faster & better, you can even have it stockpiled.
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

But you only need one humanized antibody. They too can be stockpiled.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

Or your antibodies then :)
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 02 2014

//You really don't want to use non-human antibodies as therapeutics if you can avoid it. They illicit their own immune response.//

But they're human antibodies, you won't even need to harvest them from the blood, you can transfuse it directly :)

//Treat pig foetus with the patients cells, after it’s born, a bone marrow transplant from patient to piglet (while it’s small so you don’t need a lot).//

It's rather unnecessary & time consuming though when there are methods that can be stockpiled.

Oh bottom!

Came up with that on the fly, was thinking too fast & skipping steps, the piglets dead before it gets to any reasonable size.

By replacing it's bone marrow with the patients own you've just created a pig who's own immune system will kill it, the bone marrow transplant also makes the foetal stem cell injection step surplus to requirements.

I should sleep more :(

Drug susceptibility & your humanized antibodies it is then. :)
-- Skewed, Jun 02 2014

[MechE], MHC II aside (see ‘The Immune System’ link) I find we have a pattern of only six protein markers that tell the immune system a cell belongs.

So it’s not inconceivable a bacteria or virus might stumble on a single combination.

On top of that the number of possible combinations (with 200 known protein markers) itself suggests this variation is a significant element of the immune system on a macro or species (rather than individual) level.

Thanks for the heads up.

So I’m dropping the one clone pig for all bit.

There’s no point keeping a clone line for each pig tissue type, so in the revised plan we maintain stem cell lines in the lab for each pig tissue type accept the rarest & keep a record of how many are inoculated from each so we can make sure to spread the inoculations evenly between them.

The transplant herds remain much the same but now don’t involve any cloning, you just keep a tissue type register of all the animals to insure you have enough of each type to meet projected demand (some standard cloning might be in order to boost numbers if stocks of one tissue type was a little low).

How’s that?
-- Skewed, Jun 03 2014

At last!

Baked before me [linky], it's taken me four bleedin years to find this :)
-- Skewed, Mar 23 2018

new [link] from 2014 (from about 6 months after this), seems barring the ethics committee it's a go, so that won't happen then.
-- Skewed, Dec 29 2018

random, halfbakery