Stem cell science grew an organoid
“In the lab, researchers discovered that stem cells developed into different shaped nephrons, collecting ducts, and other elements of healthy kidney organs, based on their exposure to specific signaling molecules. By controlling the amount of time a any section of a single stem cell source was exposed to these molecules, the scientists were able to develop a kidney organoid that doesn’t resemble a fully developed human kidney, but instead looks more like a kidney that would develop in a fetus during the first trimester of pregnancy.
It looks like it will be a long time before scientists can grow fully functional, healthy human organs for transplant, all from stem cells. Nonetheless, these newly-developed organoids resemble kidney function closely enough that researchers will be able to use the stem-cell grown tissue samples to test pharmaceuticals, further study kidney function and related diagnoses, and even develop therapeutic solutions for diseases and specific pathogens.
Since most humans can live with just one functioning kidney instead of two, transplants are often sourced from within family units or from personal relations when a patient is in urgent need. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t change the fact that, on average, 21 people die every day waiting for organ transplants because waitlists are too long or patient-donor matches can’t be found in time, according to the American Transplant Foundation.”
This is why this research is incredibly important! To read the full article, please click here.