Lauren Feldman 2/10/2023 at 4:47 pm
WebMD (February 9, 2023) Scientists Create ‘Vagina on a Chip’: What to Know
For years, women’s health advocates have argued that far more research is needed on women’s bodies and health. The world’s first-ever “vagina on a chip,” recently developed at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, could go a long way to making that happen.
The New York Times (February 9, 2023) What Is Our Responsibility to Lab Animals?
Republishing the January 23<sup>rd</sup> article in their Learning Network site, the NYT asks students 13 and older to share their thoughts on animal testing.
Technology Networks (February 7, 2023) “Next-Generation” Intestinal Organoid Created
Detailed findings were published online Jan. 26, 2023, in Nature Biotechnology. The co-authors say this is the first in vivo organoid of any type (heart, liver, stomach, etc.) to incorporate a functional immune system. “Not only does the organoid support the migrating immune tissues—rather than rejecting them—but those immune cells and structures go on to improve the development of the intestine itself, specifically its ability to recognize foreign antigens,” says corresponding author Michael Helmrath, MD.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (February 6, 2023) How Well Do Mouse Models Mimic Human Disease?
A team of biostatisticians led by University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health scientists report “Transcriptomic congruence analysis for evaluating model organisms” in PNAS that they’ve developed a framework to determine how much congruence and discordance laboratory animals have with specific human diseases. The tool removes potential bias from scientific interpretation of how translational animal data is for human conditions, according to the researchers.
The Scientist (February 3, 2023) Human Brain Organoids Transplanted Into Rats Respond to Visual Stimuli
H. Isaac Chen, a translational neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and his team suctioned out a single tiny section from each adult rat’s visual cortex. They then used a pipette tip to insert an organoid of human brain cells no bigger than a grain of sand into the empty chamber. Two things had to happen in order for their work to be useful for brain injury research: the organoid had to form connections with the rest of the rat’s brain, and it also had to do something functional to help the brain that it was integrated into. After letting the organoids settle, they checked on the rat’s brains every month for three months to see whether the organoid had survived and monitor how it was integrating into the rest of the brain. As they’d hoped, more than 82 percent of the implanted organoids survived the full experiment. After the first month, it was clear the rats’ brains were vascularizing the surviving organoids, integrating them into the rest of the visual system. When Chen ran a virus tracer designed to identify cells from the grafted organoid within the rats’ eyes, he found a direct connection between the eyes and the organoid’s neurons, proving to him that the organoids worked structurally. Moreover, when the team showed the experimental rats a flashing visual stimulus, the organoids’ neurons activated, indicating they were performing a function in the visual cortex.
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