Working with stem cells extracted from cord blood, researchers have grown miniature livers. This process points to a method that could eventually be used to grow human livers for transplant. The method relied on a bioreactor that allowed the stem cells to multiply rapidly in a weightless environment. These coin-sized livers are already useful, the researchers at Newcastle University note, as they can be used for testing new drugs instead of relying on humans or animals. Researchers Nico Forraz and Colin McGuckin say they expect their work to take off in the next 18 months and predicted that they could create a full-sized human liver in 10 years.
- check out this report on the stem cell project from The Times