Daily Current Affairs for UPSC


Syllabus: Science and Technology [GS Paper-3]


The first to receive a modified pig kidney transplant on which he made a medical history with his xenotransplantation surgery, who later died, is the pioneering recipient. Although, it should be mentioned that his death was not in any way related to the transplant procedure.


  • Xenotransplantation is the procedure of organ, tissue or cell transplanting from one species to another species.
  • It is the probable answer to the most critical organ shortage problem which is the meaning of organ transplantation.
  • Xenotransplantation is a method that has been studied for many years, the latest developments in genetics and immunosuppressive therapies have caused a considerable breakthrough in this field.

Understanding Xenotransplantation

  • Xenotransplantation is a current procedure of finding the right donor, modifying the organ or tissue to the recipient’s immune system and giving the post-transplant therapy to avoid rejection.
  • There are a lot of types of xenotransplantation, for instance, whole organ transplants to cellular therapies, each one with its own problems.
  • The field has grown to a high level, yet many scientific issues are still unsolved, among them the rejection and the transmission of infectious diseases.
  • Currently, the scientists are developing new methods such as CRISPR gene editing and tissue engineering that are going to raise the safety level and also the probability of xenotransplantation.

Ethical and Safety Considerations

  • Xenotransplantation is the name that is involved in the issue of the possible transfer of diseases from animals to humans as well as the ethical problems that are connected with the treatment of animals and the use of animal tissues for human benefit.
  • The regulatory agencies are respectively vigilant in the development and the enactment of xenotransplantation procedures which as a whole are closely monitored to guarantee that they are safe, effective and ethical at the same time.
  • The ethical issues in xenotransplantation are numerous and hence, they encompass questions on animal rights, human dignity, and the fair distribution of the process.
  • Decisions must be made keeping in view the values of beneficence, autonomy and justice so that the chosen decision will be in the same direction as the principles that have been chosen.


  • The shortage of organ donors is a global medical issue causing the long waiting times and the high death rates of the patients on the transplant lists.
  • Xenotransplantation is a new way of solving the problem by the transfer of organs from animals such as pigs, whose genes can be changed to decrease the chances of rejection and the risk of disease transmission.

Current Progress and Future Prospects

  • The current research is directed to the improvement of the genetic engineering methods, the creation of new immunosuppressive therapies and the treatment of the infectious disease problem.
  • The cooperation between scientists, clinicians, and regulators is the main factor that is bringing new discoveries and innovations to the field


Xenotransplantation is a new area of medicine that has not been accomplished before, and it has the possibility to supply the needed human organs for transplantation. Although the challenge of the achievement of the scientific, ethical, and regulatory ones still remains, the progress made in recent years proves the transformative potential of xenotransplantation in the revolutionization of healthcare and the improvement of patient outcomes. Hence, with further research, teamwork, and moral debates, xenotransplantation can develop the future of medicine and deliver a new era of organ transplantation.

Source: The Indian Express

UPSC Prelims Practice Question

Q. With reference to agriculture in India, how can the technique of ‘genome sequencing’, often seen in the news, be used in the immediate future? (2017)

  1. Genome sequencing can be used to identify genetic markers for disease resistance and drought tolerance in various crop plants.
  2. This technique helps in reducing the time required to develop new varieties of crop plants.
  3. It can be used to decipher the host-pathogen relationships in crops.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (d)

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