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Guinea pigs may harbor a hidden health hazard, researchers say

Guinea pigs may harbor a hidden health hazard, researchers say

Health
FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 -- Been looking for a reason to turn down your child's pleas for a pet Guinea pig? Dutch researchers say the rodents may carry germs tied to serious pneumonia.The bacteria, Chlamydia caviae (C. caviae), normally causes pink eye in guinea pigs.But three adults in the Netherlands wound up hospitalized for pneumonia after contact with guinea pigs resulted in their infection with C. caviae.Two of the three patients had to be put on a ventilator in intensive care units, or ICUs, although all three survived following treatment with antibiotics, doctors reported.C. caviae was not previously known as a bacteria that could infect humans, said the lead author of the report, Dr. Bart Ramakers. He is an intensive care doctor with Bernhoven Hospital in the Netherlands. "Doctors an...
GM pigs take step to being organ donors

GM pigs take step to being organ donors

Health
The most genetically modified animals in existence have been created to help end a shortage of organs for transplant, say US researchers. The scientists successfully rid 37 pigs of viruses hiding in their DNA, overcoming one of the big barriers to transplanting pig organs to people.The team at eGenesis admits preventing pig organs from being rejected by the human body remains a huge challenge But experts said it was a promising and exciting first step. The study, published in the journal Science, started with skin cells from a pig.Tests identified 25 Pervs - porcine endogenous retroviruses - hidden in the pig's genetic code.Experiments mixing human and pig cells together showed those viruses could escape to infect human tissues.But the researchers then used the game-changing gene-editing t...