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Lab-grown kidney’s transplanted into rats

In the past, scientists have been able to successfully grow simpler tissues, such as windpipes, but now, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have developed a procedure to grow a more complex organ in the lab: rat kidneys.  They have done this by stripping away native cells for a donor kidney, leaving behind a scaffolding comprised of collagen, which is then repopulated with a recipient animal’s own stem cells. 

Though testing hasn’t yet progressed to human-scale versions, the potential benefit of this is significant. if this approach can be used for humans, it would reduce the risk of organ rejection, and it would also provide a greater availability of organs for those patients in need.

You can read more about the technique used to engineer the kidney at this article on Nature.com by Ed Yong, and at New Scientist.

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