Scientists in the UK say they have grown tiny sections of human liver. The sections of liver were created using stem cells from umbilical cords by a team at Newcastle University.
It is hoped the "mini-livers" will be used to test drugs, avoiding incidents like the Northwick Park trial in which six patients became seriously ill.
But other experts warned, because the work was unpublished, it was not possible to assess its worth and that cells made in this way were unreliable.
Researchers Dr. Nico Forraz and Professor Colin McGuckin have started a company called ConoStem in an effort to market their stem cell work.
They believe it will be decades before a grown liver can be used in a human transplant operation.
Illustration: Liver (red). – Wikipedia.
BBC News (10/31/06)