Scientists Make Progress in Growing Organs From Stem Cells

Liver buds and brain organoids are among this year's life-saving advances in growing spare human parts.

Some 16,000 ailing Americans are waiting to receive a liver transplant. But due to a shortage of viable livers, it’s likely that fewer than 7,000 transplants will be performed in 2013. In Japan, where the shortage is worse, the number of people in need of new livers is 10 times as great as the number of deceased donors who could provide one. 

That gap motivated stem cell biologist Takanori Takebe and his colleagues at the Department of Regenerative Medicine at Yokohama City University in Japan to find an alternate solution...