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Tuesday, 12th June 2012
In General Japan News,

Japan scientists use stemcells to create human liver

Scientists in Japan have made a major breakthrough in organ transplant research by creating a working human liver from stemcells.

According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, the team of researchers used induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to create the liver, AFP reported.

Headed by Professor Hideki Taniguchi from Yokohama City University, the team first cultivated the iPS cells into what are known as 'precursor cells'

They then transplanted them into a mouse, where they grew into a functioning human liver, albeit a very small one.

Once inside the mouse, the cells grew into a liver measuring 5mm across with capacity to act as a human liver does - producing human proteins and breaking down substances.

Stem cells have long been talked of as having potentially miraculous properties as they can turn into other specialist cell types, but this discovery could prove to be a major breakthrough.

Should further research prove the finding to be true, the prospect of growing human organs from stem cells could have major consequences for organ transplant medicine.

Written by Mark Smith