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Blood Cells Capable of Regenerating Liver ,,

Livers can be regenerated using stem cells from blood -- an important discovery that means patients may be able to grow their own liver transplants using bone marrow. This adds to a growing body of evidence that stem cells, known as "master cells" because they can produce a variety of different kinds of cells, might one day be manipulated to create custom-grown organ transplants.

"The liver is an incredibly regenerative organ using its own cells," Dr. Neil Theise of the New York University School of Medicine, who led the study, said in a statement. So his team decided to look and see if other cells might get drafted in to help with this process. Writing in the journal Hepatology, they said they examined the livers of two women who had received bone marrow transplants from men. Bone marrow is rich in stem cells and is routinely used to help patients with leukemia, a blood cancer treated by destroying the bone marrow and replacing it with healthy bone marrow.

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