Laboratory-grown replacement organs have moved a step closer with the completion of a new study. Scientists have grown a fully functional organ from transplanted laboratory-created cells in a living animal for the first time. The researchers have created a thymus.
The team from the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh took cells called fibroblasts from a mouse embryo. They turned the fibroblasts into a completely different type of cell called thymus cells, using a technique called reprogramming.
They hope that, with further research, the discovery could lead to new treatments for people with a weakened immune system.