A Japanese research team has become the first in the world to develop a functional liver from human induced pluripotent stem cells, according to an article the researchers published in the online version of British journal Nature.
The team created liver buds and transplanted these into mice suffering from liver failure. Their survival rate improved markedly after the transplants, said the team led by Yokohama City University Prof. Hideki Taniguchi.
No previous studies have successfully generating a three-dimensional functional organ from human pluripotent stem cells, such as iPS cells, which can develop into any tissue, according to the article.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that up to 6 tons of water have leaked after being processed with water-cleaning equipment at the Fukushima No. 1 power station at the center of the 2011 nuclear disaster. (Jiji Press)
Sony Pictures has canceled the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview" after hackers threatened terrorists attacks and the largest multiplex chains in North America pulled the film from its screens. (Japan Times)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)
Heavy snow caused a power outage along parts of the Joetsu Shinkansen Line for about six hours on Sunday morning, leaving some 300 passengers trapped in a bullet train for 2½ hours near the mountainous southern border of Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Times)