A sample of cultured kidney cells.
Credit: Nature Communications

Japan researchers grow kidney tissue from stem cells

Friday, 25 January 2013
Agençe France-Presse

TOKYO: Researchers in Japan say 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 told AFP.

Read more: Japan researchers grow kidney tissue from stem cells | COSMOS magazine.

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