Do Now U! Should Pigs Be Used to Grow Human Organs?

NCSCE and KQED are partnering on Do Now U, a project that engages undergraduate students in online discussion through social media about current scientific issues.


Do Now U PigsThis week’s Do Now U asks, “Should Pigs Be Used to Grow Human Organs?” The post, written by Dani Schroeder, Gabrielle Kern, and Bradley Mullings, students in Kimberly Vogt’s Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis for Biologists class at Marian University, asks readers if pigs should be used to grow human organs for transplant patients.


With a shortage of vital organs available for transplant, many see the potential of saving human lives as a good reason to pursue this option despite the risks, which are both technical (the possibility of pig fetuses developing human-like brains), and ethical (the potential for the biological incubator business to become the next generation of factory farms).


Share your thoughts. Do you think pigs should be used to grow human organs, or will this practice come with too many risks?


Join the Conversation!
Engage your students in the conversation about using pigs as biological incubators for vital human organs. Students can share their thoughts directly in the post’s comment section, or on Twitter using the hashtag #DoNowUPigs. Explore previous Do Now U posts to spark dialogue among your students.


Photo: Joshua Berry/Flickr

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