The following comes from a Jan. 23 story in Medical Daily.

In a new study, scientists debut a technique for growing a human kidney, obtained from an aborted human fetus, inside a rat. This new rat model would be “perfect” for drug testing “because the animals are smaller and cheaper, making them scalable for pharmacological testing,” Eugene Gu, an author of the published study, tells Medical Daily in an email.

“Our long-term goal is indeed to have these organs ready for transplant into human patients. However, that would require a large animal model such as a pig rather than a rat.” The video below explains this process:

A fourth year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine, Gu also is

a co-founder and CEO of Ganogen, a company located in Redwood City, Calif. A tagline on the company’s website reads Ending the organ donor shortage. While this may appear a noble and worthy goal, the current kidney research, which was sponsored by Ganogen, undoubtedly will raise a red flag or two for many people. However, Gu defends his work, in part, by noting it is subsidized by family, friends, and small investors.

“We feel that our research is more palatable than all the other researchers who use taxpayer money to fund their research involving aborted human fetal tissues, which is the vast majority of major biomedical research labs,” Gu tells Medical Daily. In fact, Gu and his research team acquired the fetal kidneys used in their experiments from Stem Express, a self-described “multi-million dollar company that supplies human blood, tissue products, primary cells, and other clinical specimens to biomedical researchers around the world….”