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Building brand new kidneys

Advanced Cell Technology has sparked yet more controversy with its claim to have grown kidney-like organs.

Scott Gottlieb(sg2@doc.mssm.edu)

NEW YORK — The Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) recently announced that it has used cells derived from cloned cow embryos to grow kidney-like organs that function and are not rejected when implanted into adult cows. This marks the first use of cloning technology to grow personalized, genetically matched organs for transplantation.

But like some of the other results announced by ACT during the past year, this latest research has not been published in a leading scientific journal or confirmed by others. And although the kidney-like organs can apparently remove toxins from the body and produce urine, it's not known whether they can perform all of the many jobs for which kidneys are responsible.

Last year, ACT created a worldwide stir when it announced it had conducted experiments to clone human embryos. This experiment was published in e-biomed: The Journal of Regenerative Medicine. The paper immediately drew...

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