Growing organs in a lab

What if you could grow a custom-made organ in a lab? Growing lungs and other organs for transplant is still in the future,

but scientists are working toward that goal. In North Carolina, a 3-D

printer builds prototype kidneys. In several labs, scientists study how

to build on the internal scaffolding of hearts, lungs, livers and

kidneys of people and pigs to make custom-made implants. (AP)

Dr. Anthony Atala holds the "scaffolding" for a human kidney created by a 3-D printer in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

The "scaffolding" for replacement ears, noses and other body parts sit on a bench in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

The "scaffolding" for a human ear emerges inside a 3-D printer in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

The "scaffolding" for a replacement nose sites on a bench in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

A computer displays an image of the "scaffolding" for a human ear being created by a nearby printer in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

A 3-D printer creates the scaffolding for a human ear in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

Researcher Abritee Dhal holds a test tube containing pieces of "decelluralized" piglet liver in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

Researcher Abritee Dhal holds a "decelluralized" liver from a four-day-old piglet in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

Pig kidneys get cleansed of their porcine cells in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

Researcher Young-Joon Seol watches as a 3-D printer creates the scaffold for a human ear in a laboratory at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The university is experimenting with various ways to create replacement organs for human implantation, from altering animal parts to building them from scratch with a patient's own cells. (AP Photo/Allen Breed)

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