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Lab-grown organs represent potential breakthrough
May 2011
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EDINBURGH, Scotland—Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have successfully managed to grow kidneys in a laboratory, a development that has great potential for helping to alleviate the growing shortage of organs for those on transplant lists. The researchers were able to create the organs by manipulating stem cells to form the structure of a kidney. The organs were created using cells from amniotic fluid and animal fetal cells. The resulting kidneys measured half a centimeter in length, comparable to the size of a kidney in a fetus, and researchers hope the kidneys could grow to maturity after transplantation. If scientists can collect amniotic fluid at birth and store it, then the patient's own amniotic fluid cells can be used to create them a new kidney if they develop kidney disease, which in theory will bypass the issue of rejection.


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