Cell. 2022 Jul 21;185(15):2756-2769. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2022.06.051.
For decades, insight into fundamental principles of human biology and disease has been obtained primarily by experiments in animal models. While this has allowed researchers to understand many human biological processes in great detail, some developmental and disease mechanisms have proven difficult to study due to inherent species differences. The advent of organoid technology more than 10 years ago has established laboratory-grown organ tissues as an additional model system to recapitulate human-specific aspects of biology. The use of human 3D organoids, as well as other advances in single-cell technologies, has revealed unprecedented insights into human biology and disease mechanisms, especially those that distinguish humans from other species. This review highlights novel advances in organoid biology with a focus on how organoid technology has generated a better understanding of human-specific processes in development and disease.