Lab-grown kidneys work in animals
J Thoendell stashed this in Science
Dr Takashi Yokoo and colleagues at the Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo used a stem cell method, but instead of just growing a kidney for the host animal, they set about growing a drainage tube too, along with a bladder to collect and store the urine.
They used rats as the incubators for the growing embryonic tissue.
When they connected up the new kidney and its plumbing to the animal's existing bladder, the system worked.
Urine passed from the transplanted kidney into the transplanted bladder and then into the rat bladder.
And the transplant was still working well when they checked again eight weeks later.
They then repeated the procedure on a much larger mammal - a pig - and achieved the same results.
Prof Chris Mason, an expert in stem cells and regenerative medicine at University College London, said: "This is an interesting step forward. The science looks strong and they have good data in animals.
"But that's not to say this will work in humans. We are still years off that. It's very much mechanistic. It moves us closer to understanding how the plumbing might work.