Ethics, Kidney, Transplantation

Can an equation be racist?

Medical algorithms that correct for gender, age, comorbidities, and race span specialties from nephrology to cardiology to pediatrics to obstetrics. Such calculators help guide practitioners in daily decisions about everything from drug dosages to surgery to organ transplants. But race modifiers especially raise problems, since race is often an imprecise proxy for actual ancestry.

Immunology, Research, Transplantation

The journey to a pig-heart transplant began 60 years ago

On Friday, January 7 2022, David Bennett became the world’s first person to successfully receive a transplant of a pig’s heart. The eight-hour-long operation by surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, USA, was no doubt arduous. But it was a short final step in a 60-year-long journey to genetically alter the pig’s heart so that it would not be immediately rejected – a journey that began with a plane crash in Oxford in the summer of 1940.