Scientists in the United States are reporting a breakthrough that could one day eliminate the need for kidney donations.
A report in the journal "Nature Medicine" published on April 14 said researchers have successfully produced a functioning kidney for laboratory rats using a process that could someday be used in humans.
The experiment began with a rat kidney, from which some cells were removed, leaving only the organ's structural framework behind.
Scientists then attached kidney cells from newborn rats and blood-vessel cells from humans to the framework and eventually cultivated a functioning bioengineered kidney.
The new organ was successfully transplanted into rats and began functioning nearly as well as a normal kidney.
Researchers now plan to attempt the experiment on pigs as an intermediary step to research on humans.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and BBC