Pig cell diabetes treatment approved in New Zealand

Tue, 17 Apr 2007
According to health news reports from New Zealand, Kiwi health authorities have approved a procedure that involves the use of pig cells to treat people suffering from type one diabetes. The procedure is by no means new, with pioneers developing it in the 1990s, but it is yet to make the transition into the mainstream.

A Professor who pioneered the technique last decade was reportedly quoted in top New Zealand papers saying that the procedure could bring hope to thousands of people suffering from type 1 diabetes. For type 1 diabetics, there condition really can be a life sentence of daily insulin injections.

The procedure involves using clusters of insulin-producing cells harvested from the pancreas of piglets, and transplanting them into the abdomen of a patient. Concerned groups and scientists called for a ban on the trials, which was upheld, due to fears that pig retrovirus could infect the human population.
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