BBC News reports: “A technique which may eventually remove the need for matched bone marrow transplants has been used in humans for the first time.

It is hoped that ‘master cells’ taken from umbilical cords could be used on any patient without rejection.

The latest advance, published in the journal Nature Medicine, greatly multiplies the tiny number of cells from the cord ready for a transplant.

UK charity Leukaemia Research said this could be the ‘holy grail’ for doctors.

The current system of bone marrow transplantation helps patients who have diseases, such as leukaemia, which affect the stem cells in their bone marrow where new blood cells are grown.

Their own bone marrow cells are killed off by aggressive treatment and cells from a matched donor are introduced in their place.

However, a matching donor cannot always be found, despite extensive donor registries held by organisations such as the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust and, even with a carefully matched donor, there is still a risk that the patient’s body will reject the new cells.

Cells extracted from umbilical cords could overcome these problems – they do not have the characteristics which would normally trigger immune rejection, so it is likely that cells from a single baby’s cord could be used in any patient, without the need for matching.

However, there is one big disadvantage – there are not enough cells in a single cord to meet the needs of an adult patient.

Scientists have been looking for ways to either combine the cells from more than one baby, or to ‘expand’ the cell numbers in the laboratory…” (Peace and health will be present for 1,000 years during Christ’s millennial reign upon earth – Isaiah 9:6, 7; Isaiah 35:5, 6. See the next report also.)


The London Daily Telegraph reports: “The use of pig lungs in transplants into humans has moved a step closer with a medical breakthrough.

Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, used a ventilator and pump to keep the animal lungs alive and ‘breathing’ while human blood flowed in them.

Experts estimated the work could lead to the first animal-human transplants within five years.

Dr Glenn Westall, who helped conduct the experiment, said: ‘The blood went into the lungs without oxygen and came out with oxygen, which is the exact function of the lungs.

‘It showed that these lungs were working perfectly well and doing as we were expecting them to do.

‘This is a significant advance compared to experiments that have been performed over the past 20 years.’

The breakthrough came after scientists were able to remove a section of pig DNA, which had made the pig organs incompatible with human blood.

Previous attempts to combine unmodified pig lungs and human blood ended abruptly two years ago when blood clots began forming almost immediately, causing the organs to become so blocked no blood could pass through.

Human DNA is now added to the pigs as they are reared to reduce clotting and the number of lungs which are rejected…”