Call us free on 0800 862 0373

Sign in to view your quotes
Email address:
Password or PIN:

Forgotten your password? Reset it here.

Functioning human livers grown in Japanese laboratory

Published on 04/07/2013

Tiny human livers functioning at a basic level have been developed from stem cells in a laboratory by scientists in Japan.

Livers from stem cell research grew in mice

The researched were reported to be astonished at the results as liver buds, the youngest stage of the organ’s growth, formed spontaneously.

The results were published in the journal Nature and the experiment was coordinated by a team at the Yokohama City University.

It is hoped that transplanting thousands of liver buds could combat liver failure and other scientists are encouraged by the results.

Stem cell research is been developed on worldwide as scientists attempt to grow organs in labs to tackle a shortage of organ donors.

Liver disease is responsible for nearly 17,000 deaths a year in the UK and is the country’s fifth biggest killer.

Liver disease is also the only major cause of death that has a mortality rate that continues to increase, year-on-year.

Three cells – two from stem cells and one from the umbilical cord – unexpectedly joined together and developed. When they were introduced into mice they began to function as little livers and increased the lifespan of mice with liver disease.

Prof Takanori Takebe said: "We just simply mixed three cell types and found that they unexpectedly self-organise to form a three-dimensional liver bud - this is a rudimentary liver.

"And finally we proved that liver bud transplantation could offer therapeutic potential against liver failure."

It is hoped that this technique could be applied to other vital organs such as the kidneys, lungs and pancreas but observers have warned this study is just the beginning and more studies are vital. 

Dr Dusko Ilic, a scientist at King's College London, said: "The strategy is very promising, and represents a huge step forward.

"Although the promise of an off-the-shelf-liver seems much closer than one could hope even a year ago, the paper is only a proof of concept. There is much unknown and it will take years before it could be applied in regenerative medicine."

Health insurance policies can give you the access to the latest treatments not widely available.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

Categories:  Health InsuranceHealthMedical
Functioning human livers grown in Japanese laboratoryTiny human livers functioning at a basic level have been developed from stem cells in a laboratory by scientists in Japan. Livers from ste    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

No.1 health insurance broker as rated by customers

Very helpful and polite and always try their best to obtain the best quotes. Have been using them for the last 3 years and will continue to use them in the future.

Review centre member

A great service from the initial call, to finalising the agreement. I would highly recommend to my family and friends.

Review centre member

Proactive, efficient, and offered me insurance I need. I would say half price I would end up paying if I did it by myself. Many thanks.

Review centre member

Excellent service. Explained everything in detail and really helped to find the right insurance best suited to my needs - which wasn't necessarily the most expensive. 

Review centre member

Good value and the advisor was very helpful and recommended the best policy for my grandson. I would definitely use this service again and recommend to others.

Review centre member

We were contacted in good time to make a knowledgable choice. We were given plenty of options with lots of information to enable us to make the right choice.

Review centre member

The service I received was excellent, the staff member was very efficient and knowledgable. She went out of her way to get the best policy for me.

Review centre member

Great service. I really appreciated the help provided by Active Quote to arrange health insurance. The agent was very informative and proactive. Many thanks!

Review centre member

I received excellent care and attention from the first phone call till the last. Friendly, efficient and patient.

Review centre member

Staff are very helpful, friendly and polite. They call back when they say they will and keep you up to date with progress. Pleasure to deal with.

Review centre member
This site is operated by Insurance Broker ActiveQuote Ltd registered in England & Wales company number 6765845.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm reference number 501109 as detailed on the Financial Services Register. Please read our Key Facts document.
For information about your rights as a consumer visit Citizens Advice.

Our insurance comparison service is free and easy for you to use, but you are responsible for making sure all your information is entered correctly, and for choosing your insurer.

This site uses cookies in order to work correctly - these are not harmful and do not contain personal information. By using this site you consent to this. I understand  Tell me more

please wait ...