STORRS, Conn., August 28, 2003 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Three adult pig clones unexpectedly dropped dead from sudden heart attacks. The deaths were reported this week by researcher Jerry Yang of the University of Connecticut. “It was totally shocking,” he said, describing the phenomenon as “adult clone sudden death syndrome.”
Using a method similar to that used to create the late Dolly the Sheep, Taiwanese scientists created four piglets, one of which died within days. The remaining three died of heart failure at less than six months of age.
Nature magazine comments: “The pigs' demise is a stark reminder that cloned animals are far from normal. Many fall ill or die just after birth – Dolly herself passed away at the relatively tender age of 6.”
Regarding pig organ transplants to humans, Nature adds: “The deaths call into question the idea of transplanting hearts or livers from cloned pigs into humans. … Researchers have already genetically engineered partly humanized pig cells and then cloned them to make whole pigs, whose organs might avoid rejection by human recipients,” Nature reports. “It may raise concerns,” says Yang.
For related LifeSite coverage of Dolly's demise: