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Mini-Kidneys from Stem Cells Could Aid Toxicity Testing

In a time when organoids are becoming commonplace in the lab, a research team from Australia and the Netherlands has successfully generated structures that resemble embryonic kidneys from human stem cells. In addition to being a step in the right direction for eventual lab-grown kidneys for transplant, the structures could help scientists screen drugs for toxicity and model normal and diseased kidney function, the authors argue in Nature today (October 7).

“It’s not a kidney, it’s a kidney model,” study coauthor Melissa Little of the Murdoch Children’s ­Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, told The Australian. “But it’s a hell of a lot better than we’ve had before.”

“The structure’s fine-scale tissue organization is realistic, but it does not adopt the macro-scale organization of a whole kidney,” Jamie Davies of the University of Edinburgh wrote in an accompanying commentary. “There is a long way to go until transplantable kidneys can be engineered, but [the new] protocol is a valuable step in the right direction."

Full Article at The Scientist

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