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20 Americans die each day waiting for organs. Can pigs save them?

from The New York Times Magazine

Anchoring a row of family photos in Joseph Tector’s office is a framed, autographed picture of Baby Fae, the California newborn who made headlines in 1984 when she received a baboon’s heart to replace her own malfunctioning organ. Baby Fae would die less than three weeks later. It’s an unsettling image to come upon while glancing over snapshots of someone’s dutifully smiling children. But to Tector, who was 19 at the time of Baby Fae’s surgery, the cross-species organ transplant was the most inspiring thing he’d ever heard of. What he wanted to do with his life, though he may not have articulated it precisely this way, was to become a surgeon-scientist trying to crack the problem of xenotransplantation — the placing of animal organs into human bodies. more


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