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Scientists Grow Working Liver from Stem Cells

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Several newspapers and scientific web sites were reporting on June 8 that a team of scientists at Yokohama City University, led by Dr. Hideki Taniguchi, successfully transplanted induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into the body of a mouse where they began to grow into a human liver. iPS cells have the potential to develop into any body cell and they can be taken from adults.

Though measuring only two-tenths of an inch (5 millimeters), the liver was capable of generating human proteins and breaking down drugs.

Dr. Taniguchi is a professor in the university's Department of Regenerative Medicine. An abstract of his research paper was delivered to regenerative medicine researchers ahead of an academic conference that is taking place this week.

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