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Worlds First Artificial Human Liver Grown In Lab

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posted on Oct, 31 2006 @ 05:59 PM

The world's first artificial liver has been grown from stem cells by
British scientists.
The resulting "mini-liver" is the size of a small coin; the same tech-
nique will be further developed to create a full-size liver.

The mini-liver is useful as it is; within two years it can be used to
test new drugs, reducing the number of animal experiments as well
as providing results based on a human (rather than animal) liver.

Researchers Dr. Colin McGucklin, Professor of Regenerative Medicine
at Newcastle University, and Dr. Nico Forraz, Senior Research
Associate and Clinical Sciences Business Manager at Newcastle
University, say that pieces of artificial liver could be used to repair
livers injured by injury, disease, alcohol abuse or other causes in the
next five years.
These artificial livers could also be used outside the body in a manner
analogous to the dialysis process used to keep alive patients whose
kidneys have failed.

In fifteen years' time, entire livers could be grown in the lab and then
be transplanted into human beings.

The stem cells used by Drs. McGucklin and Forraz in this research are
gathered from umbilical cords ("cord blood"), seen by some as a more
ethical alternative to stem cells created from human embryos.


This is a great development, one that has many positive
things to come from it.
I love when this kind of research starts to come to fruition.

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