Stem Cell Research

Scientists Grow Human Liver in Laboratory


…and there was much rejoicing.

British scientists have grown the world's first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

The technique that created the 'mini-liver', currently the size of a one pence piece, will be developed to create a full-size functioning liver….

The mini organ can be used to test new drugs…. Using lab-grown liver tissue would also reduce the number of animal experiments.

Within five years, pieces of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.

And then, in just 15 years' time, entire liver transplants could take place using organs grown in a lab….

The liver tissue is created from stem cells – blank cells capable of developing into different types of tissue – found in blood from the umbilical cord.

More here.

Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey looked for to artifical livers (with onions, of course) here. And while you're at it, check out his great book, Liberation Biology, which makes "the scientific and moral case for the biotech revolution."