Transplant lungs can only survive for a short period of time outside the human body. In fact, only around a quarter meet criteria for transplantation, according to the American Lung Association.

That’s why a team of researchers at Columbia University in New York have decided to find an alternative, extending the shelf life of human lungs intended to be transplanted — by hooking them up to live pigs, as detailed in a new paper published in Nature Medicine today.

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