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Genetic Linkage

Not-So-Mad Scientists and Why They’re Making Human Body Parts

Halloween brings a cornucopia of candy body parts, so it’s a good time to review recent advances in organoid technology.

I’m missing a few body parts myself, so I have an interest in replacements that are biological: Mini-organs grown from stem cells. They’re even implanted with chips to record and send data, like this smart liver. Organoids more accurately model humans than do mice or monkeys, and can stand-in for experiments done on people. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the recent developments in this arena.

Mini-kidneys
Polycystic kidney disease affects about 12 million people, gumming up the intricate, highly symmetrically aligned tubules of the paired organs that filter 50 gallons of blood a day. Researchers from the Kidney Research Institute at the University of Washington describe their mini-kidneys, grown from human stem cells, in this issue of Nature.

To continue reading go to Genetic Literacy Project, where this article first appeared. Read More 
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