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Stem Cells Used To Grow Miniature Human Livers In Mice

Soulskill posted 1 year,19 days | from the how-do-they-fit-around-the-trackball dept.

Medicine 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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59 comments

Let's Bing about it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44191941)

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I for one (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44191959)

Welcome our new mice overlords

Say hello to Algernon for me. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,19 days | (#44191979)

Welcome our new mice overlords

Can't wait for the human neural stem cells to be transplanted into mice.

Re:Say hello to Algernon for me. (2)

expatriot (903070) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193589)

A BBC show on "what makes us human" identified genetic differences between human and chimps that coded for increased brain complexity (connections). When this gene was put into mice, they had more complex neurons. (Not Algernon moment yet however).

Show (for UK only) is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b036mrrj/Horizon_20122013_What_Makes_us_Human/ [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Say hello to Algernon for me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193877)

Unfortunately, any animal we turn as intelligent as a human will, when it learns of how its fellow species members have been treated, probably descend into psychotic violence.

Re:Say hello to Algernon for me. (2)

bonehead (6382) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193979)

Then it's a good thing mice are tiny.

Let's not try it with hippos.

Re:I for one (4, Informative)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193109)

Welcome our new rodent overlords

FTFY. Adjectives are always funnier.

Re:I for one (1)

Shoten (260439) | 1 year,19 days | (#44194075)

Welcome our new rodent overlords

FTFY. Adjectives are always funnier.

Well, they'll be able to drink us under the table, that's for sure...

Re: I for one (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | 1 year,19 days | (#44194869)

What are these; livers for ants? They'll have to beâ" at least two times bigger!

I read this as Marijuana in mice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44191961)

That would have been more impressive. Steal my stash now Johnnie Law!

Re:I read this as Marijuana in mice. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | 1 year,19 days | (#44191989)

You read everything as marijuana for somebody, don't you?

Re:I read this as Marijuana in mice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192125)

What drugs do you do? I want to know what I should avoid.

Re:I read this as Marijuana in mice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192143)

All of them, prescribed or otherwise...

Re: I read this as Marijuana in mice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192193)

Oxygen and Dihydrogen Monoxide.

Also lots of Hydrated Carbonates.

Re:I read this as Marijuana in mice. (1)

_merlin (160982) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192565)

There's a BBC show about that: Rastamouse. I'm not even joking!
http://www.rastamouse.com/ [rastamouse.com]

Unintended Consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44191997)

There is no doubt that this will lead to binge drinking among mice!

Not that I would try it (1)

Barlo_Mung_42 (411228) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192015)

but would it be cannibalism to eat them?

Re:Not that I would try it (2)

slick7 (1703596) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192085)

but would it be cannibalism to eat them?

Let me know when they grow calf's liver, with onions and bacon, with a side of mashers and gravy.

Re:Not that I would try it (5, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192101)

Well... You eat your own cells all the time, and in practice you probably get a serving of other peoples' sloughed-off cells with every meal you have. I guess it's really more a matter of intent: If you're not getting the stuff from a human body (or arrange for the human to become "body" in the first place) then you may well decide this is not really cannibalism no matter what DNA the cells happen to contain. It comes from a mouse, so it's basically a mouse liver.

Why you'd want to eat mouse livers is another question of course, though chicken liver is delicious, so why not?

Re:Not that I would try it (1)

Joshua Fan (1733100) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192115)

Pst... it would still taste like meat.

Re:Not that I would try it (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192331)

With induced pluripotent stem cells, you could take fibroblasts from your arm, and culture them to make meat. Last I heard a few years ago, they had not gotten cultured muscle cells to organize into intact muscles, but I'm guessing you could make a hot dog of tissue derived from you. Would that be autocannibalism, and would said hot-self encased meat be kosher?

Re:Not that I would try it (1)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192851)

I'd give my left arm to find out. If it isn't I'll eat my head, I mean hat.

Re:Not that I would try it (1)

camperdave (969942) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193973)

would said hot-self encased meat be kosher?

Considering that human meat is called long pig, I doubt it.

Miniature Human in Mice??? (1)

salnikov (256293) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192059)

I guess it's 4th of July, but first time I read is as "Stem Cells Used To Grow Miniature Human Live In Mice".

Just what I've been waiting for (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192157)

Sounds delicious!

Yeah, but... (2)

tsotha (720379) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192251)

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 dying human (5, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192549)

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 the way: With Obamacare... (0, Troll)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192557)

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.

Preventing this is what "death panels" are about.

(As a government official once said - about in 1979 or so, when the impending bankruptcy of Social Security was first being hand-wrung over - "We've got to get the death rate up to meet the birth rate.")

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192685)

By the way, with Obamacare (or any other single-government-payer system)

Bahahahaha! Obamacare? Single payer? Please. That program is nothing more than insurance company welfare. It doesn't have jack-shit to do with healthcare.

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#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.

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193123)

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.

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193381)

What a load of bullshit.

I AM from Germany, we DO have a "socialized" system, and the solution to your bullshit scenario IS *regulation*.
So eat your heart out, you bumbling idiot!

Our government simply told the all statutory health insurance fund (is that the right term?) companies:
"This is how much money you can get. Period."

So to maximize profits, they *had* to drive down costs. And they did. It was so effective that we now also have to add regulation to prevent healthcare workers / doctors to earn too *little*.

And every big company has its own insurer / fund, which has no interests in profits, but in keeping the employees healthy and well. So they offer a load of non-required services like sports programs and other preventative things, but even pseudo-scientific things like acupuncture. Hell, I even get 200€ a year to waste on whatever shit I please. (I chose to replace the old dental fillings with a more modern material. Yes, 200â is enough for at least four such procedures!)

Now what, idiot?

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44195597)

...the poster you are responding to is from the Netherlands.( as stated clearly, the NL was not indicative somehow ? )

Your system is broken as well, considering you make the point that only big companies have not-for-profit insurances.

Next time, try to actually argue instead of demean.

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193143)

There's a budget for QALYs Quality Adjusted Life Years. That is, a treatment that costs twice as much but gives patients on average ten years more life instead of six months, is a huge win in QALYs terms. A treatment that costs $350 000 but only buys you an extra three weeks? Not worth the money.

The "Quality Adjusted" part is because living six months in your own home having a fairly normal life until the end, is better than six months in a hospital bed, sleeping 22 hours per day and barely able to recognise your loved ones. And a life spent with no eyesight is a lot worse than a life shortened by two weeks.

Anyway, breakthrough work is handled separately. For a totally experimental surgery, like implanting a liver grown in a non-human organism, or say, brain surgery, you first rule out options that we already know will get the job done and seem as safe or safer. So e.g. getting a perfectly good human liver, or, not having anybody poke around in your brain. Once you're sure you've checked the alternatives, you tell the patient, "We've got this experimental procedure. We think it could help, but we might be wrong and it'd just kill you right there". And if they understand and agree you just do it.

It's actually simpler to arrange all this in a place like the UK where healthcare is free at the point of access, because obviously you can't charge people for an experimental procedure like this. They're volunteers for an experiment, not paying customers. If your healthcare system never charges individual people anyway then that's fine because you're used to doing things that way, but otherwise it's kind of weird and causes legal hiccups.

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (5, Funny)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192867)

He's right you know. Here in Europe we're so backward that we still marvel at the germ theory of disease. Only last week I had to miss work due to the Black Death. Luckily for me it was only a mild case and I'm up and running again. well hopping really, what with the gangrenous leg and all.

Re:By the way: With Obamacare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193405)

Death panels? Really? You're still rattling that empty old tin cup? That fictional bullshit was debunked about a minute after it was hallucinated up by Rupert Murdoch and gibbered onto the airwaves by whatever spittle-flecked fearmonger Fox had let off their meds that day. If you honestly still believe it then I'm surprised you were intelligent enough to write that whole post yourself without repeatedly headbutting the keyboard. Shame on you for such ignorance and on the idiots who modded you up.

Take it from someone living with a European socialist healthcare system, who has used the NHS, who was birthed by it, whose daughter was birthed by it, who has seen it rescue family members with severe medical emergencies, who has watched it nurse terminally ill relatives through their last days, and with family who have worked their entire careers in the NHS - there are no death panels here. Medical staff here do not answer to some shadowy committee of murderous accountants, you've been watching too much science fiction. The doctors and nurses here will do everything they can to help you. Yes, they constantly struggle with budget cuts and are hampered by obstructive legislation, especially under the poisonous tory regime we currently have, but nobody is ever declared "too expensive to live". That's it and all there is to it. We get better healthcare than you for less money, because we don't have to support an army of lawyers, bureaucrats and insurance middlemen whose sole raison d'etre is to suck money out of the system and make sure nobody poor ever gets medical help. The day the insurance companies finally bribe the government into swapping my imperfect-but-bloody-brilliant-nonetheless tax-funded NHS for a US-style private-paid healthcare-denial system is the day I start looking for jobs abroad. The way the tories are going, that could be sooner than I would like.

The closest thing to a "death panel" you'll find anywhere is a claims adjuster from one of your precious american health insurance companies.

Here's a nice little window into the NHS: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/24-hours-in-ae/4od - You might need a proxy to view it from outside the UK.

Captcha: idiotic

Soylent Green is lab grown PEOPLE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192275)

There simply is not enough human flesh of proper quality for the cannibals among us (the shadow gov / the 1%) so they will use poor animals to grow and harvest human flesh - after all it's just science, right? These discoveries are scientific and to benefit man, right?

No. This is a buffet of human body parts for the cannibals.

Past habitual (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192281)

"USED TO"??

So, what are they doing now?

Re:Past habitual (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192993)

They're growing brains. You'll see. Any day, now.

it's on the internet it must be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192323)

let me know when goats have long, black male penises they use as pogo sticks to bolt from location to location.

Re:it's on the internet it must be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44194669)

Let me guess. There's a genre of furry porn dedicated to this, and you've been fapping to it.

It was inevitable. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192337)

They just posted this a few months ago.

Agent Smith-Oracle: Wait ... I've seen this. This is it, this is the liver bud one. Yes, you were laying right there, like that, I ... I ... I stand here, right here, the OP says something about drinking college students...I'm supposed to say something. I say ... 'This Bud's for you!'

What ? What did I just say ? No... No, this isn't right, this can't be right. Get away from me!

THEY LIVE and they want HUMAN FLESH (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192365)

nt

At last! (1)

DeathElk (883654) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192383)

Bring forth the Fava Beans and Chiante!

zebra licking its own human penis (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192387)

out of sight!

I just don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192389)

What's a mouse going to do with a small human liver. Give the poor thing a normal mouse liver you sick bastards.

Mrs. Garrison! (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | 1 year,19 days | (#44192415)

But Mrs. Garrison needs to know, can they be used to grow penises?

Re:Mrs. Garrison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193007)

It's spelled penii, god damn it. Just like virus, virii and box, boxen.

What kind of geek are you? Sheesh!

(For the humor impaired: yes, this is sarcasm.)

Re:Mrs. Garrison! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44194067)

Have you considered that the problem isn't that others are humor impaired, but rather you're just not very funny?

Lucky Mice! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192543)

How come mice get all the medical advances?

Isn't it about time we got back to experimenting on humans?

Re:Lucky Mice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193037)

Better unions, I guess.

Re:Lucky Mice! (1)

expatriot (903070) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193605)

They are in charge you know. Well, them and the porpoises until the new road goes through.

Great news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44192605)

I'll drink to that!

Good.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193169)

Now if we can only grow mice liver in humans....

Yay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44193271)

Oh goody another quarter million dollar operation for medicare recipients and government employees with gold plated healthcare.

Next step... (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | 1 year,19 days | (#44193945)

It seems obvious that the next step is to grow giant mice livers in humans!

Now scientists have a reason to create giant mice (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44194583)

To get liver big enough for transplant into humans, you'll need to breed a strain of mice that weigh over 100 lbs. So far mice obtained from Fukushima, Chernobyl, and 3 Mile Island only get cancer instead of becoming giants. There is a theory than rodents exposed to mutagens and who have been in recent contact with humans grow to become giant sentient, human/rodent hybrids, but that theory has yet to be tested.

Cravings (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44195011)

Along with my new liver I have this inexplicable desire to eat cheese...

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