Our kidneys are essential for regulating the levels of salts and minerals in our blood, filtering out toxins, and producing hormones. Kidney diseases are caused by damage to nephrons, the key working components of the kidney. Chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure, which requires treatment by blood dialysis or a kidney transplant. Researchers are using stem cells to study how the kidney develop and how it can regenerate itself. Researchers are studying how stem cells might help to repair damaged nephrons, and restore kidney function.