Doctors have performed the first transplant of a genetically modified kidney from a pig into a living human.

The four-hour surgery was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital, which was also the first hospital to perform a kidney transplant in 1954.

The patient, Rick Slayman, a 62-year-old manager with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation who had been diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease, is recovering well and expected to be discharged from the hospital soon.

Doctors said that they thought his new kidney could last years but also acknowledged that there are many unknowns in animal-to-human transplants.

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