The anatomy and function of organ systems in pigs are very similar to that of humans. Pig and human hearts and their associated blood vessels are approximately the same size and structure. Thus pigs are a valuable model in understanding heart function, disease, and treatment.
Both pigs and people are omnivores and have very similar gastrointestinal systems, making pigs important to studies in nutrition and the evaluation of the oral absorption of drugs. Renal research, wound healing and diabetic research are just a few examples of the many ways pigs have advanced medicine because of their close similarities with humans.
Recent technological advances now enable the creation of unique pig models for human diseases, which allow researchers to work with pigs to develop therapeutics for inherited and chronic disorders and cancers.