Pig Science Makes Post Swine-Flu Comeback

Could pig embryos help humans become healthier and more resistant to illnesses like swine flu? That's a theory that's currently being investigated by Israeli scientists, but is it kosher?

According to New Scientist, scientists at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel have given two diabetic monkeys new pancreases grown from pig embryos. The new organs were successfully infiltrated by monkey blood vessels and made insulin, but the tests don't necessarily prove anything definitively; the monkeys were also given drugs during the trial, which may have skewed results. Dr. David Cooper, of the University of Pittsburgh, isn't impressed:

They've not made the case that these monkeys needed less immunosuppressive therapy... Nor am I convinced the approach has advantages over transplantation of adult or neonatal pig [organ].

Tests are continuing, but I have to admit to loving the idea that scientists prove that pig embryos can make humans healthier while everyone is still worrying about swine flu. It's like science karma or something.

Pig embryos could provide tougher transplant organs [New Scientist]