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Doctor "Prints" Real Kidney

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A new experimental technique could eventually eliminate the need for human kidney donors.

A surgeon Thursday was able to "print" a kidney by scanning a 3-D image of a kidney that needed replacing, then taking a tissue sample about half the size of a postage stamp to seed the computerized process, Agence France-Presse reports.

The organ "printer" works layer by layer to build a replacement kidney replicating the patient's tissue.

The experiment was shown by a surgeon from the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine at a TED Conference in the California city of Long Beach, according to AFP.

"This is still experimental and in no way eliminates then need for organ donors," said Wake Forest spokesperson Karen Richardson.

About 90 percent of people waiting for transplants are in need of kidneys, and the need far outweighs the supply of donated organs, said Atala.

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