First: human gets heart from genetically modified pig

In the United States, for the first time, doctors placed the heart of a genetically modified pig in a human.

The experimental operation at a Maryland hospital was performed to save the life of 57-year-old David Bennett, who was struggling with a life-threatening heart condition. The operation was on 7 January. Its still too early to tell if it went successful, but the man is feeling good, the doctors tell The New York Times.

โ€œThe heart is working and it looks normal. Were excited, but we dont know what tomorrow brings us, because no one has ever done this again,โ€ says one of the doctors involved, Bartley Griffith.

The man would die if the transplant was not performed. โ€œI want to live,โ€ said the man, according to the newspaper, a day before the operation. โ€œI know its a step into the unknown, but it was my last choice.โ€

โ€œEndless supply of organsโ€

Experts hope that the medical scoop will open doors for organ transplants in the future. โ€œIf this is going to work, it means an endless supply of organs for patients,โ€ says the director of the hospitals transplant program to AP news agency.

The director of an American transplant organization does dampen expectations: โ€œThese events can be hugely inflated, but its important to maintain perspective. It takes a lot of time to be able to carry out these types of operations on a large scale.โ€

Last year, for the first time, a pig kidney was placed in a human being. The person who received the organ was a brain-dead patient with kidney failure. The placed kidney, just like the heart, was genetically engineered. As a result, the organs genes have changed so that the organ is not directly repelled by the body.