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Biotech Science

Rudimentary Liver Grown In a Dish 129

ananyo writes "Japanese scientists have coaxed stem cells into forming a 5-millimeter-long, three-dimensional tissue that the researchers labelled a liver bud — an early stage of liver development. The bud lacks bile ducts but has blood vessels, and when transplanted into a mouse, was able to metabolize some drugs that human livers metabolize but mouse livers normally cannot. The work is 'the first report demonstrating the creation of a human functional organ with vascular networks from pluripotent stem cells,' the team claims."
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Rudimentary Liver Grown In a Dish

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  • Need bile ducts! (Score:5, Informative)

    by b_dover ( 773956 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @01:49PM (#40387685)
    Unfortunately, the bile ducts are an important part of what the liver does, i.e. produce bile, which we need to digest fats. Furthermore, bile is used to remove bilirubin, a was product of the liver tearing down red blood cells. An excess of bilirubin is what makes people with liver problems turn yellow. This does seem like a great step forward in growing organs however. The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body.
  • Re:Burn in Hell! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:01PM (#40387815)
    I know you are making a joke, but these stems cells were iPS (induced pluripotent), i.e. taken from adults, not embryos, and therefore not controversial by any stretch of the imagination or in any viewpoint I'm aware of. On the contrary, they show that you don't need embryonic stem cells to produce medical advances.
  • Re:Burn in Hell! (Score:3, Informative)

    by geoffrobinson ( 109879 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:03PM (#40387843) Homepage

    "Those turbo-religious types that have issues with this research aren't just against it because of embryonic destruction. I tend to hear from them about things that aren't natural and that their Lord Almighty Savior of Mighty Omniscient Omnipotence (that they sometimes refer to as God) will choose when someone should die and this research interferes with His will."

    As an evangelical, I can assure you that you aren't listening or you are listening to a distinct teeny, tiny minority. And by "teeny, tiny" I mean completely insignificant.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @02:30PM (#40388263)

    We're not all the USA. All other countries have socialised healthcare where this sort of thing will be "free" (paid for by national insurance contributions at a vastly lower cost than private US medical care).

    The longer your population is productive, the more it benefits your economy. Reducing retirements caused by becoming sick or infirm reduces health and welfare costs and keeps your workforce healthy.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @03:07PM (#40389013)

    We're not all the USA. All other countries have socialised healthcare where this sort of thing will be "free"

    Ha-ha. You think socialist healthcare will give old farts operations costing tens of thousands of dollars for free.

    One of the main reasons why the NHS (for example) is cheaper than US healthcare is that it routinely refuses treatment for old farts. If I remember correctly, something like 50% of lifetime healthcare spending for the average American happens in the last couple of months of their life, when socialist healthcare would just let them die earlier.

    Errr... yes?

    In my own family alone, "old farts" that I know personally have had a heart transplant, an 18-hour spinal realignment, major heart surgery, a partial liver transplant... all for "free".

    Of course, it's not "free" - we pay for it with national insurance contributions. The cost is vastly, vastly lower than what is spent in the US because we have a nationalised system. While there is waste and overhead, it is nowhere near what it is in the US. It's why we spend less than half our GDP per capita compared to the USA (8% vs 16%), yet have longer life expectancy and no crippling debts brought on by healthcare costs.

    If you think that the NHS "routinely refuses treatment" for old farts then I suggest you stop getting your "facts" from Fox News and talk to people who *actually live here*.

  • Re:Burn in Hell! (Score:4, Informative)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Wednesday June 20, 2012 @11:28PM (#40394185)

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell publicly denounced the use of all modern medicine to save lives? Or is it that they have specific objections to specific technology (which is what my point was, and why the GP's position was such a strawman)?

    Again, your post demands a big, fat, [citation needed].

    The GP was not attempting to refute the statement that there were moderate Christians, and not refuting anything actually. The GP attempted to add the characterization of loud to what that poster was claiming was an "insignificant" group.

    Without refutation, you cannot have a strawman. Now, I will admit it was terse and probably acerbic, but it is nonetheless accurate and insightful. It does not matter that the group of Christians is claimed to be small and not representative of the majority viewpoint if they are so "loud" that they seemingly represent a majority viewpoint in the media, and a significant representation in legislation and policy.

    As for citations,

    News story about Pat Robertson's organization []

    Interview by Pat Robertson of a Doctors book on bioethics in which he aligns himself with viewpoints supporting my characterization of him being against stem cell research []

    Jerry Falwell obit summarizing position against stem cell research []

    Another news story that expands upon the position in the obit []

    I could go on... but their position on stem cell research and bioethics is well known and based only the Bible. Although, Mr. Falwell was specific about a 3-part test including ethics, morality, and the Bible. Ethics is meaningless since it is just a lump of flesh freely given and whatever considerations for right and wrong are not derived from any inherent universal truth or logic. Morals in this instance are derived from the Bible and not from any distinct philosophy or culture. So really it just a Biblical test.

    Also, "people who identify as christian" is absolutely worthless as a category. Check some of the polling stats to see how incredibly diverse that "category" is, from protestants to mormons to unitarians to people who went to church once back in '94. I think one poll had 75% identifying as christian, but only some 50% identifying Christ as the son of God, and even fewer believing in a personal God. I have no doubt that you can find self-identified christians who are in favor of just about anything you could think of.

    That's kind of the whole point. The GP was stating that those Christians who opposed stem cell research were just a minority. Well, just about anybody can identify as Christian and sell their morality as the so-called correct derivation of Biblical truth. Heck, even the majority of KKK members claim to be Christian and can derive their racism from Biblical truth.

    It is those who do so the loudest that are at issue here.

    What do you know, Im one of them, because I dont think you can be a christian and have a subjective morality; it must be based on SOMETHING. That doesnt mean I deny the use of any modern medicine.

    That sounds contradictory.

    Without trying to offend you, I believe that all morality derived from the Bible is more or less subjective. By that, I mean that other than some universal truths in the Bible, most of the morals derived from it seem pretty damned arbitrary to me and mostly just related to the culture at that time.

    The fact you mention subjective morality indicates to me that you are a thoughtful Christian and your faith is constructed by carefully reasoned interpretations of the Bible. Much better than some idiot just parrotin

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.