Turning Piglets Into Personalized Avatars for Sick Kids

Turning Piglets Into Personalized Avatars for Sick Kids

A team of scientists wants to accelerate research into a genetic disorder by using CRISPR to copy unique mutations from affected children into pigs.

The Atlantic, 2017

Editorial Rating



Politicians and scientists alike often discuss personalized medicine as the future of heath care. Personalized medicine would mean that researchers could use a patient’s specific genetic make-up to develop a specific treatment. In an innovative approach, researchers work to develop miniature pigs with patient-specific genetic mutations. Award-winning science writer Ed Yong explains how researchers aim to utilize the gene editing technology known as CRISPR to help treat neurofibromatosis. getAbstract recommends this article to those interested in cutting-edge, gene editing technology.


What kind of disease is neurofibromatosis type 1?

Neurofibromatosis type 1, also known as NF-1, is an inherited genetic disorder. NF-1 is highly variable from patient to patient and currently incurable. Patients commonly present with tumors that grow on their nervous tissue. While these tumors are normally benign, they can become rather large and ultimately disfigure a patient’s face and body. Some NF-1 patients develop neurological disorders. There are also reports of NF-1 patients with bone and heart conditions. The disease affects about one in...

About the Author

Ed Yong is an award-winning science writer at The Atlantic and author of several books.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

How Science Beat the Virus
How the Pandemic Defeated America
Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing
I Contain Multitudes
Hacking the Code of Life
Editing Humanity
Gene-Edited Monkey Clones Stir Excitement and Debate
Can Lab-Grown Brains Become Conscious?
What’s Next for CRISPR Babies?
Making Sense of Coronavirus Mutations

Related Channels