May 4th, 2010
11:05 PM ET

Scientists use pig embryo to create stem cells

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical Managing Editor

Scientists appear to have broken another barrier in stem cell research by creating a better research model to study human illnesses – a pig – actually 34 pigs.

It’s an important advance for research because pigs are much more like humans than other lab animals are.

The scientists did not clone the pigs – instead they adapted a procedure used in mice and human stem cell research and were able to grow a specific kind of cell, induced pluripotent stem cells, or IPS cells.

Pluripotent stem cells have the ability to turn into any cell in the body. IPS cells were first developed about five years ago by Shinya Yamanaka, who used four genes to coax a regular mouse cell into acting like an embryo. Creating stem cells with this method is less controversial than harvesting them from an embryo, which destroys the fertilized egg in the process.

According to Dr. Steve Stice, director of the University of Georgia Regenerative Bioscience Center, his team took a bone marrow cell from a pig and injected six new genes, which caused it turn into an embryo-like cell.  Pluripotent stem cells were harvested from this embryo-like cell and injected in another pig embryo. 

The first piglets carrying these new stem cells were born September 3, 2009. 

So far human embryonic stem cell research has not actually found its way into the human body.  Most of the research is still in mice.  But mice aren't the best animal models to get more accurate data on how a treatment may affect a person.  For example, mice hearts beat four times faster than a human heart and mice don't get atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) – but pigs do.  That's why pigs are much better animal models says Stice. "Physiologically, pigs are much closer to a human," he says.

The researchers also found that unlike mouse embryonic stem cells, which can turn into cancer cells, none of the pigs developed any signs of tumors.

But it has been very difficult to harvest embryonic pluripotent stem cells from pigs. Stice credits his research assistant Franklin West with finding a way to make the existing IPS technology work in pigs.  

Now researchers hope to find many different applications for these new pig stem cells and the pigs they can produce.  They are already working with scientists at Emory University to develop insulin-producing pancreatic islet cells, which might be transplanted into people with diabetes.

Stice thinks this new method can also be used to genetically engineer healthier livestock for other tissue transplants and food consumption. He suggests these stem cells may someday be used to make "artificial bacon," which would eliminate the need to slaughter pigs.

The research will be published in the online journal "Stem Cell and Development."

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. privetpackldtwowti https://yandex.ru/

    privetpackldtwowti https://yandex.ru/

    May 26, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Zisseloh

    purchase cialis on line https://rcialisgl.com/ – natural cialis mixing viagra and cialis

    May 27, 2021 at 03:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. EncoxAni

    canadian pharmacy sildenafil citrate https://pharmacyken.com/ – giant food store pharmacy buy prescription drugs without doctor

    May 27, 2021 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. EncoxHtf

    buy brand cialis online https://cialishav.com/ – cialis covered by medicare cialis generic 2018

    May 27, 2021 at 10:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. EncoxAni

    tramadol online pharmacy https://pharmacyken.com/ – order medicine online hot canadian pharmacy

    May 27, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. CrulkAsd

    cialis https://cialisjla.com/ – cheap cialis canadian cialis for sale

    May 28, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ZisseVed

    overnight cialisis on line https://krocialis.com/ – walgreens cialis price generic cialis fast delivery

    May 28, 2021 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MileSwa

    viagra levitra cialis offers https://ckacialis.com/ – cialis by mail original cialis product dapoxetine

    May 29, 2021 at 01:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. EncoxHtf

    best place to buy generic cialis https://cialishav.com/ – buy cialis 5mg online cialis coupon online

    May 29, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Zisseloh

    how much does cialis cost at walmart? https://rcialisgl.com/ – cost of generic cialis cialis overnight delivery

    May 29, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ZisseVed

    what milligrams does cialis come in https://krocialis.com/ – europe cialis daily cialis reviews

    May 30, 2021 at 02:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. EncoxGtv

    is it legal to purchase prescription drugs from canada pharmacy continuing education online cvs pharmacy store

    May 30, 2021 at 02:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. CrulkAsd

    cialis 20 mg canada https://cialisjla.com/ – cialis dapoxetine overnight shipment buy cialis no prescription australia

    May 30, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. EncoxGtv

    global pharmacy in canada rx compounding pharmacy fastest shipping canadian pharmacy

    May 31, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. EncoxDev

    mailing prescription drugs fedex canada drugs legit pharmacy discount coupons

    May 31, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxDev

    online pharmacy scams canada discount pharmacy prescription drugs online without

    June 1, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Zisseloh

    cialis wirkung low cost cialis cialis with alcohol

    June 1, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. EncoxAni

    canada drugs online reviews cheapest pharmacy for prescriptions without insurance Cefixime

    June 2, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. EncoxHtf

    cialis cena cialis medicine cialis generic best price

    June 2, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. EncoxAni

    online pharmacy europe canadian no prescription pharmacy price of prescription drugs

    June 2, 2021 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. ZisseVed

    generic cialis no prescription australia what are cialis pills what is cialis used to treat

    June 3, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. CrulkAsd

    cialis con alimentos cialis without precription cialiscanada

    June 3, 2021 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Zisseloh

    cialis original online walgreens cialis price compare cialis prices

    June 3, 2021 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. EncoxGtv

    international pharmacies that ship to the usa pharmacy online pharmacy provigil

    June 4, 2021 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ZisseVed

    walgreens cialis cialis warnings cialis support 365

    June 4, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. EncoxHtf

    cialis coupon free trial cheapest cialis in australia bph treatment cialis

    June 4, 2021 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. CrulkAsd

    where can i buy cialis 20mg generic cialis usps priority mail generic cialis from india

    June 7, 2021 at 09:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. EncoxGtv

    rx relief pharmacy discount card azithromycin canadian pharmacy fred's dollar store pharmacy

    June 7, 2021 at 21:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. EncoxDev

    canadian drug stores online rx pharmacy coupons review b12 injections online pharmacy

    June 7, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. EncoxDev

    ambien canada pharmacy abuse of prescription drugs pharmacy tech certification online

    June 8, 2021 at 06:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Zisseloh

    pharmacy 365 cialis cialis generic online cialis

    June 8, 2021 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. EncoxAni

    princeton u store pharmacy trusted online pharmacy rx online pharmacy

    June 8, 2021 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. EncoxHtf

    cialis classification cialis buy online brand cialis 20

    June 9, 2021 at 05:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. EncoxAni

    soma online pharmacy online canadian pharmacies safe mailing prescription drugs fedex

    June 9, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ZisseVed

    india to buy cialis receive cialis overnight cialis otc 2017

    June 10, 2021 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Zisseloh

    purchase cialis in canada cialis treatment fastest delivery service for cialis

    June 12, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. MileSwa

    brand cialis 20mg buy cialis through paypal cialis strips

    June 12, 2021 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. EncoxGtv

    nps online pharmacy reviews canadian pharmacy zolpidem pharmacy wholesalers canada

    June 12, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. CrulkAsd

    cialis no prescription cialis cialis tabs

    June 13, 2021 at 01:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. ZisseVed

    cialis where can i buy cialis online pharmacy does medicare cover viagra or cialis

    June 13, 2021 at 05:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. clonidine hcl

    what is hydroxychlor 200 mg used for nivaquine hydroxychloroquine hcq

    June 13, 2021 at 11:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. EncoxHtf

    best time of day to take cialis for bph cialis mit dapoxetine cialis online canadian

    June 13, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. where to buy delta 8

    Im thankful for the blog post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.


    June 30, 2021 at 07:00 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.