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A gland grows itself

Pituitary develops in a lab dish with chemical coaching

2:26pm, November 9, 2011

Researchers have grown a mouse pituitary gland for the first time from embryonic stem cells. Or rather, the pituitary gland grew itself, after Japanese researchers coaxed embryonic stem cells to form the type of tissues that normally surround the gland.

The accomplishment, reported online November 9 in Nature, could be the first step toward replacement pituitary glands for people. Self-made glands growing in lab dishes may also help researchers learn how the organs develop inside the body.

“There’s a lot in it to be excited about, whether you’re a development

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