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Porcine Blood

The concept of xenotransfusion – a blood transfusion involving two different species – has been with us for centuries.

In fact, the very first blood transfusion was a xenotransfusion, performed by French physician Jean-Baptiste Denis in 1667.

However, Denis’ breakthrough was short-lived. The practice of xenotransfusion was outlawed after one of his patient’s died and remained controversial even after new defenders emerged in the 1800s.

Then came Karl Landsteiner’s discovery of blood groups in 1900, and xenotransfusion was essentially abandoned.

But more recently, advances in xenotransplantation coupled with a shortage in human blood supply has led to a reconsideration for animal-to-human blood transfusions.

Studies have shown that pigs are the best candidates for xenotransfusions, with swine blood having more similar characteristics to human blood than blood from other animals.

“The size of red blood cells is similar,” writes David Warmflash of the Genetic Literacy Project. “So is the typical red blood cell life span, the hemoglobin content, and structure, and other factors, plus pigs can be genetically modified to produce red blood cells that are equivalent to human type O negative.”

It’s yet another example of how porcine models and their similarities to humans can lead to health breakthroughs that benefit humans.

Animal Biotech is proud of the role it has played in this field of research over the past three decades. Contact us today to learn more about our porcine blood vessel offerings. 

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The Value of Animal Growth Charts in Biomedical Research

Our porcine growth chart allows clients to know the expected rate (average daily gain) of growth over time of our Yorkshire cross bred swine herd at all ages.