A team of researchers say they have brought scientists one step closer to safely transplanting organs from pigs into humans.
Researchers from a biotechnology startup eGenesis and several universities in China, Denmark and the United States, have used CRISP-Cas9 gene editing techniques to remove diseases that could be transmitted from pigs to humans during tissue transplants.
The research could help scientists use animals to solve the shortage of available cells, tissues, and organs, which impacts hundreds of thousands of patients around the world.
The concept of using animals to grow transplantable material for humans is called "xenotransplantation," and the team said in their study they consider it a promising solution to the problem.
"What we are trying to do is create a world where there is no shortage of organs," said eGenesis Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Luhan Yang in an interview with CNBC. Yang was one of the authors of the current paper.
There are currently more than 100,000 people in the United States awaiting organ transplants, and only 20 to 30 percent of them will ever receive one, she said. eGenesis, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is entirely focused on furthering xenotransplantion as a viable option.