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New Research Uses Ethical Stem Cells to Create Liver Buds and Artificial Bones
Date:7/31/2013

NEW YORK, July 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This month, scientific journals have reported on two more studies that highlight how stem cells found in babies' umbilical cord blood and cord tissue represent the future of medical treatments for serious diseases and injuries. Nature, The International Weekly Journal of Science, reported that Japanese scientists have successfully engineered rudimentary human livers, or "liver buds", using three types of stem cells. And, ScienceDaily reported that Spanish scientists have patented a biomaterial that helps create artificial bones using umbilical cord blood stem cells. These developments are among many in an industry that is pioneering stem cell-based therapies for many life threatening and debilitating diseases and injuries, including some that children may be more susceptible to as a result of family medical history.

In Japan, the researchers used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), endothelial cells, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to create liver buds. When they implanted the liver buds in mice, the liver buds performed some functions of a liver, including protein production and drug metabolism. iPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cell artificially derived from a non-pluripotent cell. MSCs can be found in babies' umbilical cord tissue and placenta tissue and can be collected and preserved immediately after a baby is born.

In Spain, the researchers used umbilical cord blo
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