Japan researchers grow kidney tissue from stem cells
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.