Japanese researchers grow kidney tissue from stem cells
Times Live -- Jan 23
Researchers in Japan say they have succeeded in growing human kidney tissue from stem cells for the first time in a potential breakthrough for millions with damaged organs who are dependent on dialysis.
Kidneys have a complex structure that is not easily repaired once damaged, but the latest findings put scientists on the road to helping a diseased or distressed organ fix itself.
Kenji Osafune of Kyoto University said his team had managed to take stem cells - the "blank slates" capable of being programmed to become any kind of cell in the body - and nudge them specifically in the direction of kidney tissue.
"It was a very significant step," he told AFP.
Osafune said they had succeeded in generating intermediate mesoderm tissue from the stem cells, a middle point between the blank slate and the finished kidney tissue.
US President Barack Obama has left the United States for his first trip to Japan in about 3-and-a-half years. Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on Thursday. (NHK )
The education ministry conducted national academic achievement tests on Tuesday for all final-year students at primary and middle schools across the country. About 2.24 million students at about 30,000 schools took Japanese and mathematics exams. (The Japan News )
Japan and the United States are now seen deferring a broad trade agreement until after a summit meeting set for Thursday due to differences over key issues, informed sources said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
The virus strain that caused bird flu at a poultry farm in southwestern Japan has been confirmed to be genetically identical to the one found in South Korea, the National Institute of Animal Health said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )
Airport authorities in Tokyo launched a frantic scramble to change security pass codes, an official said Tuesday, the day before U.S. President Barack Obama arrives, after an airline employee dropped a memo containing the details. (Japan Today )
A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter )
Police in Fuso, Aichi Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an unemployed 38-year-old man for attempted murder after he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her and her parents. (Japan Today )
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