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Japan researchers grow kidney tissue from stem cells

Published on Jan 23, 2013 2:00 PM
 
This Aug 27, 2010, file photo shows a scientist working on stem cells in a laboratory. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Researchers in Japan said today they have succeeded in growing human kidney tissue from stem cells for the first time in a potential breakthrough for millions with damaged organs who are dependent on dialysis.

Kidneys have a complex structure that is not easily repaired once damaged, but the latest findings put scientists on the road to helping a diseased or distressed organ fix itself.

Kenji Osafune of Kyoto University said his team had managed to take stem cells - the "blank slates" capable of being programmed to become any kind of cell in the body - and nudge them specifically in the direction of kidney tissue.

"It was a very significant step," he said.

 
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