Scientists 'Grow' Kidney in Lab
Engineered rat kidneys a step toward helping humans
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2013 4:20 AM CDT
The engineered kidneys weren't as effective as normal ones, but they could be enough to get many patients off dialysis.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – In a breakthrough with the potential to save many thousands of lives, scientists have "grown" a kidney that produced urine both in the lab and after being transplanted into a rat. The new kidneys were created by stripping old kidneys of their cells and pumping the remaining "scaffold" with new cells that regrew the organ, the New York Times reports. Vast amounts of research still needs to be done, but scientists believe this is a major step toward creating replacement kidneys for people. The lab-grown kidneys were only about 5% as effective as normal ones, but researchers say that restoring a fraction of function could be enough for many patients.

"If you're on hemodialysis then kidney function of 10% to 15% would already make you independent of hemodialysis. It's not that we have to go all the way," the lead researcher says, describing the potential as huge. "If you think about the United States alone, there's 100,000 patients currently waiting for kidney transplants and there's only around 18,000 transplants done a year," he tells the BBC, which notes that people are already walking around with bladders and windpipes grown with the same technique, but livers, kidneys, and hearts are much more difficult to produce.

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Apr 15, 2013 12:05 PM CDT
I hope that they aren't doing this by stripping the old kidney cells from fetuses. Believe it or not, abortion clinics sell aborted fetuses to research laboratories where they use the cells for research. I learned about this when researching embryonic stem cell research which I am strongly opposed to. I am also strongly opposed to using cells from an aborted fetus for any research. The reason is because using cells from aborted fetuses for research only fuels the abortion industry. It gives the abortion industry a product to sell which increases their income and therefore makes them try to do more abortions which means more babies brutally murdered by abortion.
Apr 15, 2013 9:28 AM CDT
"but livers, kidneys, and hearts are much more difficult to produce." Good, I've got the fava beans and chianti waiting....ffffffffffffffffffffffff!!!!
Apr 15, 2013 7:33 AM CDT
Most parts of the world are already overpopulated. How about we work on that, then what to do with all the elderly people draining society, then work on things like this. We breed faster than we die off. That is a recipe for disaster.