oa De Rebus - Stem cell research - is South African law locking progress? : feature
On 15 April 2013 it was reported that a researcher in the United States of America (USA), Dr Atala, announced that he had made a breakthrough in his research and is now able to grow an entire new organ requiring only a collagen frame filled with stem cells (Harold Maass 'Growing rat kidneys in a lab: Are human organs next?' (http://theweek.com/article/index/242746, accessed 31-1-2014)). Although this was achieved using a kidney from a rat, Dr Atala reported that this technique could be used to grow fully functional human organs from scratch. This scientific breakthrough may result in many lives being saved around the world, since there will, for example, be no need for dialysis patients to wait for a compatible organ to be donated and these organs would not be rejected by the body ('Lab-made rat kidneys raises hope for dialysis patients' Reuters, 5-4-2013, www.foxnews.com/health/2013/04/15/lab-made-rat-kidneys-raise-hopes-for-dialysis-patients/, accessed 31-1-2014).
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