lamb

Lambs & Heart Valves

Currently for heart value replacement, a person has two options: animal biological tissue or a mechanical valve.    These current options do not grow with the recipient of the valve. The animal bioprosthetic valve cannot grow as the tissue is treated to prevent the immune system from rejecting it. The mechanical valve is a fixed size. Because of this, a …

genetic pigs

Genetic Pigs

On December 14th of last year, the FDA approved the intentional genomic alternation in a line of domestic pigs. It was approved for food consumption and human therapeutics. This is the first time in history this has occurred.    The domestic line of pigs to have this genomic alteration is called GalSafe Pigs. The genetic alteration is intended to eliminate …

Heparin

Heparin is an anticoagulant, or blood thinner, that prevents the formation of blood clots. This medication was the first anticoagulant discovered and isolated for medical use in 1916 and still widely used today. Heparin is naturally occurring in our bodies, but at times a supplement is needed for medical procedures. It is derived from the mucosal tissues. The supplement is …

The Thyroid

A thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located on the front side of your neck, just below the Adam’s apple. This gland is crucial for keeping your body running by providing hormones. Two hormones, Triiodothyronine (T3) AND THYROXINE (T4), are responsible for metabolism affecting weight, growth, body temperature changes, heart rate, and brain development during infancy and childhood.   Like …

vaccine

Animals & COVID-19

Animals are sometimes used in the development of drugs, vaccines, other biologics, and medical devices, mainly to help determine the safety of the medical product. They can be used to measure how a biologic is absorbed in the blood, how it is broken down chemically in the body, the toxicity, and how quickly the product is excreted from the body. …

Pig

A Meat Industry Perspective

Steven Lonergan is a professor of Animal Science at Iowa State University. Here are his thoughts on the meat industry and how it ties in with the biomedical industry.   Why did you choose a career in the meat industry?   As I grew up on a hobby farm, I was very interested in food production (fruits, vegetables, eggs, livestock). I …