[Takanori Takebe, a stem-cell biologist at Yokohama City University in Japan,] told how his team grew the organ using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), created by reprogramming human skin cells to an embryo-like state. The researchers placed the cells on growth plates in a specially designed medium; after nine days, analysis showed that they contained a biochemical marker of maturing liver cells, called hepatocytes.
At that key point, Takebe added two more types of cell known to help to recreate organ-like function in animals: endothelial cells, which line blood vessels, taken from an umbilical cord; and mesenchymal cells, which can differentiate into bone, cartilage or fat, taken from bone marrow. Two days later, the cells assembled into a 5-millimetre-long, three-dimensional tissue that the researchers labelled a liver bud — an early stage of liver development.
Japan does it again.
AboutPop Bioethics, written by Kyle Munkittrick, is an effort to study the ethics of the continuing evolution of the human species via the lens of pop culture and be somewhat entertaining in the process.