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Medicine Science

Stem Cells Used To Grow Miniature Human Livers In Mice 59

ananyo writes "Transplanting tiny 'liver buds' constructed from human stem cells restores liver function in mice, researchers have found. Although preliminary, the results offer a potential path towards developing treatments for the thousands of patients awaiting liver transplants every year. The liver buds, approximately 4 mm across, staved off death in mice with liver failure, the researchers report this week in Nature (abstract.). The transplanted structures also took on a range of liver functions — secreting liver-specific proteins and producing human-specific metabolites. But perhaps most notably, these buds quickly hooked up with nearby blood vessels and continued to grow after transplantation."
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Stem Cells Used To Grow Miniature Human Livers In Mice

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  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Friday July 05, 2013 @01:28AM (#44192549) Journal

    As usual, any kind of clinical use of this stem cell stuff is "ten years away". These guys are as bad as fusion researchers.

    I'm sure they'd love to try it in a human dying of liver disease. But between the FDA regs, the self-appointed Medical Ethics czars, and the malpractice ambulance-chasers there's a lot of hurdles to jump before they MIGHT be allowed to try it (let alone deploy it as a regular procedure).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 05, 2013 @02:36AM (#44192711)

    By the way, with Obamacare (or any other single-government-payer system) you can expect such new treatments to NEVER be deployed - or even developed.

    If such a new procedure succeeded it would mean paying a lot of extra money saving the person, after which it would mean paying MORE money as they live longer to collect more benefits, further straining an already self-bankrupting system.

    Citation needed

    By the way, you might want to read up on social security systems in Europe, because it does work, and expensive treatments as transplants do get paid back. Of course, this involves everybody to contribute to the welfare of others (and the rich a little more than others), and I guess that sounds a little too 'socialist' for Republican America.

  • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday July 05, 2013 @04:55AM (#44193123) Journal
    The socialised systems in Europe (or several countries here at least) suffer from the same problem as ObamaCare, and your current health care system: a powerful oligarchy of insurance companies. These companies have no incentive to drive down health care costs, on the contrary. They'd much rather pay twice as much and double our premiums at the same time. On top of that these companies (at least in NL) are building their own health care bureaucracies to do stuff that has little to do with insurance but looks nice, like helping customers live more healthy lives... useful stuff to be sure, but paid for by our premiums and very, very, very expensive.

    One of our ministers had the right idea (he's a socialist but a clever fellow nonetheless, and smarter than many of his colleagues). Insurance is this: you collect premiums, and if someone stubs a toe, you pay their medical bill. If (like in NL) everyone is insured for basic healthcare at the same rates and under the same terms... why then do we still need insurance companies? What are they going to compete on? Simpler to let the gov't self insure and cut out these horribly expensive middlemen who add no value, leave the insurers to offer us packages for additional coverage.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"