People who get organ transplants run a serious risk of having their bodies reject the life-saving organs. University of Iowa researchers are finding ways that may enable organs to be permanently accepted. The experiment starts by injecting embryonic stem cells from one rat to another.When you wait a few days and put in an organ from the same type of animal that donated the stem cells, the organ is accepted without any medication what so ever. Dr. Nicholas Zavazava is an internal medicine professor at the U-of-I and co-director of the study. He says the experiments focus on rats now.He hopes to work next on larger animals, like pigs. Dr. Zavazava says there is much ethical debate about whether humans will benefit from this type of research. He says the public needs to be educated on the use of the cells.Zavazava says most human patients who have organ transplants have a 90-percent success rate for the first year, but within ten years, only about 50-percent of the donated organs survive.
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