Science Junkie
Miniature kidney grown in a dish
Australian researchers have grown a rudimentary kidney in the laboratory from human stem cells, an advance they say could lead to better ways of treating renal disease and testing drug safety.
Professor Melissa Little, from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, and colleagues, were able to guide embryonic stem cells to produce the cell types needed to ‘self-organise’ into a miniature kidney in a dish.
"It’s much smaller than an adult kidney. It’s essentially a little developing kidney," says Little.
The key to achieving this outcome was providing the cells with perfectly-calibrated combinations of molecules called growth factors. By bathing the stem cells in particular concentrations of growth factors at particular times, they were able to guide them to grow and differentiate in a process that mimicked normal development.
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Miniature kidney grown in a dish

Australian researchers have grown a rudimentary kidney in the laboratory from human stem cells, an advance they say could lead to better ways of treating renal disease and testing drug safety.

Professor Melissa Little, from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, and colleagues, were able to guide embryonic stem cells to produce the cell types needed to ‘self-organise’ into a miniature kidney in a dish.

"It’s much smaller than an adult kidney. It’s essentially a little developing kidney," says Little.

The key to achieving this outcome was providing the cells with perfectly-calibrated combinations of molecules called growth factors. By bathing the stem cells in particular concentrations of growth factors at particular times, they were able to guide them to grow and differentiate in a process that mimicked normal development.

Read more







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