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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Researchers at a North Carolina conference promoting advanced manufacturing are getting a glimpse into a future in which companies build replacement body parts by layering human tissues cells into an organ.

Hundreds attending the annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh on Monday heard how researchers at Wake Forest University and North Carolina State University are working toward the goal of churning out thousands of kidneys or bladders.

Anthony Atala of Wake Forest's Institute for Regenerative Medicine says researchers who already are testing laboratory-developed skin, cartilage, bladder and muscle in humans are simultaneously focused on moving into large-scale production.

Atala says 3-D printers that now make dental molds and plastic packaging by slowly applying layers of material according to a digital model are also being used to produce critical body organs.

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