Mini human livers transplanted into rats

15 June 2020
Presented by Chris Smith
Production by Eva Higginbotham.

RAT

A white rat

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Every day in the UK over 40 people die from liver disease. Some of these deaths could be prevented by having a liver transplant, but there simply aren’t enough donor livers to meet demand. But what if we could grow livers in a laboratory, and use those for transplants instead? A team in Pittsburgh has now done just that in experimental animals. They’ve reprogrammed human skin cells to turn them into liver cells and grow mini livers in a dish. These were transplanted into rats genetically modified to prevent them from rejecting the transplant. Eva Higginbotham heard from Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez how they did it...

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