Parts Of Liver Created Using Umbilical Cord Stem Cells
The scientists warned that it will be tens of years before we are anywhere near producing whole new livers for transplants. However, within the next 15 years, tiny livers could be produced and used for treating patients.
Team leaders, Dr. Nico Forraz and Prof. Colin McGuckin, have set up ConoStem, a company aimed at marketing their stem cell research results.
The researchers said they used a microgravity bioreactor, which creates a weightless environment, to grow liver tissue from stem cells.
Professor McGuckin said "We take the stem cells from the umbilical cord blood and make small mini-livers. We then give them to pharmaceutical companies and they can use them to test new drugs on. It could prevent the situation that happened earlier this year when those six patients had a massive reaction to the drugs they were testing."
This technology, if it really can replace human and animal testing, will be welcomed by people who are against using animals for testing drugs. Umbilical cord stem cell research is also a much more attractive prospect for those who are against using embryonic stem cells for research.
The study papers have not yet been peer-reviewed and/or published yet. Dr. Mike Nicholds, CEO, ConoStems, said they are planning to have their studies peer-reviewed.
What is Peer Review?
It is commonly used by publishers to screen submitted manuscripts (written reports). The report is scrutinized (reviewed) by other people who are experts in the field (peers).
"ConoStem: Adult Stem Cells to advance Drug Discovery and Clinical Research"
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