The Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports a novel method to induce stem cells to develop into functioning kidney cells. "Our goal was to develop a simple, efficient, and reproducible method of differentiating human pluripotent stem cells into cells of the intermediate mesoderm, the earliest tissue in the developing embryo that is fated to give rise to the kidneys," said Dr. Lam. This research outlined a conglomerate of chemicals which transform stem cells into kidney cells by turning on the necessary genes to build a functioning kidney. The genetic switch which turns on by adding these chemicals to the stem cells are the identical genes which turn on in embryonic kidney development. Regenerative medicine techniques for kidney failure may one day replace conventional dialysis and transplantation treatment.