Scientists In Scotland Have Made A Major Breakthrough That Could See The End Of Organ Transplants

Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Scientists at Edinburgh University have made a major medical breakthrough, creating the first ever completely functional organ in a living animal.

Using cells developed in a laboratory, the research team in Scotland has been able to develop a thymus – a crucial part of the immune system – in mice, BBC reports.

The thymus is an organ located close to the heart and produces T-cells which fight infection.

Professor Clare Blackburn, of the research team, says the scientific process involved genetically reprogramming cells.

“This was a complete surprise to us, that we were really being able to generate a fully functional and fully organised organ starting with reprogrammed cells in really a very straightforward way,” she said.

The findings – published in Nature Cell Biology – has been earmarked as a revolutionary advancement in organ transplantation research, however experts say we’re still years away from human transplants.

More here.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.