Date: 03 July 2013 Time: 12:42 PM ET
a number of lab dishes containing small liver buds.
Liver buds derived from human stem cells.
CREDIT: Takanori Takebe

Tiny human livers grown from stem cells get to work when they are transplanted into mice, cranking out proteins and breaking down drugs that mice normally can’t, say scientists in Japan who created the working organs.

The human “liver buds” grew blood vessels and produced proteins such as albumin that are specific to humans.

The researchers further confirmed the livers were working by showing that transplanting a liver into a mouse whose liver was lethally damaged allowed the animal to live longer then expected.

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