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They were investigating the function of the brain’s hypothalamus to coordinate hormone release in disparate parts of the body.10 years later, they were able to isolate, characterise and synthesise some of these ‘releasing factors, finding them to be peptide hormones. Dr Stanley Curtis says pigs have an amzing ability to learn and remember, and he tested this out by creating a video game for pigs to play.
In just 5 to 10 trials, they had figured out the trick – as fast as chimpanzees.
The current state of knowledge and interest in swine spans a wider range than perhaps any other domestic animal since they are used for food, biomedical research and are also, increasingly, a pet as well.
The doctor developed a method to prevent the rejection of animal tissue by the human body.
According to him, the key is an “antigen-suppression agent” necessary to prevent the body from rejecting tissue from another organism. Hypothalamic hormones in the brain were identified using pigs In the 1950s Roger Guillemin and Andrew von Schally - award winners of the 1977 Nobel Prize for the discoveries concerning the brain production of peptide hormones – experimented on pigs to isolate extracts from the hypothalamus that could bring about the release of different hormones from the pituitary gland.
Since then, making insulin for the treatment of diabetes has always depended on living organisms.
Before the advent of biotechnology, the organisms used were pigs destined to the meatpacking industry.A mature pig weighs approximately the same as an adult human so the internal organs would appear to be very much the same.The pig organs are so similar to human organs, it is the best candidate as an organ donor for animal to human transplants. New-born piglets learn their mother’s voice and their own names, a mother will ‘sing’ to her piglets to put them to sleep Pigs communicate constantly with one another.A lactating sow has a special call to let her piglets know its food time.Newborn piglets learn to run to their mothers’ voices and mother pigs will sing to their young while nursing. The CT or CAT scan was developed using pig tissue The CAT – computer-assisted topography – scans revolutionised the ability of doctors to visualise our internal organs, and are now more commonly used to research, diagnose and monitor a huge range of diseases.More than 20 of their oinks, grunts and squeals have been identified for different situations, from wooing their mates to expressing hunger.They convey their intentions, how they are feeling, warnings, greetings and when it’s time for dinner.Such ‘bioprosthetic’ valves, usually from pigs, have been used successfully in many human patients to treat some of the 60,000 heart valve patients per year in the USA. Insulin from pigs was used to treat diabetes until the 1980s Diabetes has been known for thousands of years.The discovery, isolation and purification of insulin in the 1920s were significant medical advances, preventing premature deaths for many people.Their results were directly transferable to humans, and provided researchers and clinicians with important insights into the endocrine system and its related diseases. Pig skin is very sensitive, mud helps prevent sunburns Pigs have no sweat glands, so they roll around in mud to stay cool, but also because the mud acts as sunscreen and keeps the bugs away. Using their nose, pigs were taught to control a modified joystick to play the game.Pig skin is one of the toughest and most useful of animal hides, yet it is extremely sensitive to temperature and injury. Using M&M and skittles as rewards, the pigs had to move the computer cursor to match drawings thay saw on the screen.