A key step toward growing human kidneys in the laboratory

Kidney disease affects one in nine adults globally and the incidence of kidney failure is steadily rising around the world. Being able to grow working kidney tissue in a laboratory could help accelerate medical treatments ...

Toxic 'forever chemicals' accumulate above the water table

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are water-, stain-, and heat-resistant chemicals added to products like nonstick pans, nail polish, food wrappers, and firefighting foam. They have been linked to health problems, ...

A matter of concentration: Molecular mechanisms of water homeostasis

When making a soup, maintaining the correct balance of liquid and salt is key. Similarly, maintaining the balance of water and electrolytes is an important physiological process in the human body, and disruption of this process ...

Biomaterials for kidney organoid–based regenerative therapy

With the discovery of synthetic stem cells, better known as induced pluripotent stem cells, the field or regenerative medicine has been revolutionized. These synthetic stem cells are created by reprogramming adult cells from ...

How fruit flies lay off the extra salty snacks

Fruit flies are known for their sweet tooth, but new research also indicates they may offer hints to how animals sense—and avoid—high concentrations of salt.

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Kidney

The kidneys are paired organs, which have the production of urine as their primary function. Kidneys are seen in many types of animals, including vertebrates and some invertebrates. They are part of the urinary system, but have several secondary functions concerned with homeostatic functions. These include the regulation of electrolytes, acid-base balance, and blood pressure. In producing urine, the kidneys excrete wastes such as urea and ammonium; the kidneys also are responsible for the reabsorption of glucose and amino acids. Finally, the kidneys are important in the production of hormones including vitamin D, renin and erythropoietin.

Located behind the abdominal cavity in the retroperitoneum, the kidneys receive blood from the paired renal arteries, and drain into the paired renal veins. Each kidney excretes urine into a ureter, itself a paired structure that empties into the urinary bladder.

Renal physiology is the study of kidney function, while nephrology is the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the kidney. Diseases of the kidney are diverse, but individuals with kidney disease frequently display characteristic clinical features. Common clinical presentations include the nephritic and nephrotic syndromes, acute kidney failure, chronic kidney disease, urinary tract infection, nephrolithiasis, and urinary tract obstruction.

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