Surgery: Circumventing Immunity

The main barrier to the transplantation of organs from one human being to another is the immune mechanism by which the body defends itself against invasion by foreign substances. The surgical techniques have been perfected for years, and in the case of kidneys at least, the supply of organs has been sufficient for a total of 1,200 transplants. But some 500 of these have failed, in nearly every case because the immune reaction led to rejection of the transplant. Now new ways are being explored to bypass the barrier; last week specialists...

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