Signals Blog

It was announced this week that a team of Japanese researchers had successfully restored liver function in mice using liver buds composed of human stem cells. Although preliminary, the researchers are optimistic that this technique could one day lead to a treatment for patients with liver failure. Not to diminish this extraordinary work, but we at Right Turn wanted to point out that a well known Canadian comedian, namely Rick Mercer, had already solved this problem back in 2005. (We also need to point out that we do not endorse alcohol consumption or Stem Cell Lager in particular as a treatment for liver disease.) Cheers!

Our regular feature, Right Turn, showcases the “lighter” side of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Every Friday, we will bring you cartoons, photos, videos and other content that may be just as thought provoking as the written submissions that you are used to finding here, but they definitely won’t be blogs.

As always, we welcome your feedback and we also welcome suitable submissions. Be creative! Use the right (!) side of your brain. Make us laugh! Let’s see if we can make this new direction a positive one for all of us. Send your submission to info(at)

Research cited:
Takebe T., Sekine K., Enomura M., Koike H., Kimura M., Ogaeri T., Zhang R.R., Ueno Y., Zheng Y.W. & Koike N. & (2013). Vascularized and functional human liver from an iPSC-derived organ bud transplant, Nature, DOI:

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Lisa Willemse

Lisa Willemse

Lisa is a science communicator with 15+ years' experience in the fields of regenerative medicine, child development and technology. She launched this blog (first as the Stem Cell Network Blog) in 2009, and served as co-editor until April 2015. She is currently the Senior Communications Advisor for the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has recently contributed to Motherboard, Science Borealis and the Genome Alberta and Canadian Blood Services blogs. Follow her on Twitter and Medium @WillemseLA.