Add this to the list of things you can grow in a petri dish: An honest-to-goodness mini-kidney.

Australian scientists have successfully developed a method that allows mini-kidneys to be grown from stem cells in a lab — an achievement that could help with drug research, as well as one day possibly providing assistance to those in desperate need of a kidney transplant.


Minoru Takasato (left) and Melissa Little.

Image: University of Queensland

Using stem cells derived from human skin cells known as fibroblasts, the team “encouraged” the cells to form a miniature organ, Melissa Little, a professor at the University of Queensland, told Mashable Australia. The research was published in Nature. Read more…

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Scientists are growing mini-kidneys from skin cells