Australian scientists create human kidneys from skin cells - (Xinhua via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Scientists from Melbourne's Murdoch Children's Research Institute have reprogrammed stem cells and turned them into the most developed human kidney ever created in a laboratory, reported Xinhua.
  • Lead researcher Melissa Little said the kidneys were still small, less than a centimeter across, but have hundreds of filtering units and blood vessels.
  • She said the work, which was detailed in Nature, had multiple practical implications, allowing scientists to one day test for the renal toxicity of drugs and, on a more individual level, to test for a person's predisposition to kidney diseases.
  • In the study, fibroblast cells were first reengineered into induced pluripotent stem cells and then chemically adjusted into kidney cells.
  • Little said the team slightly adjusted their growth formula to produce their most complex and largest kidneys yet.
  • She added that "these kidneys have something like 10 or 12 different cell types in them ... all from the one starting stem cell."

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