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Hi, in school I have learned that kidneys are important and that without them we would die. However, I also know that nowadays people have kidney transplantations and are able to live with only one kidney. I was wondering just how important kidney function is if we can have a normal life with only one of them. Did the scientists learn something new about kidney function that they were not aware of while I was going to school?

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Hi, and first of all let me say that what you have learned in school is absolutely correct. Kidneys are vital organs, just like our heart, brain or lungs, and without them we would die. The basic function of the kidneys is to clean our blood. When blood passes through them some of the waste products of our metabolism are being transported from the blood into the urine which is formed in the kidneys. When there is something wrong with this complex mechanism, waste might be detained in the blood, or proteins and other important molecules can be eliminated into urine and this can cause serious health problems. If your kidneys are perfectly healthy, than you can live a normal life with only one of them. However, if both kidneys fail, the only option is kidney transplantation because life without kidney’s proper function is not possible.
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