Lauren Feldman 1/27/2023 at 2:26 pm
Fast Company (January 27, 2023) Organs-on-chips: Tech that can help researchers conduct studies closer to real-life conditions
Preclinical trials are mainly conducted on cell cultures and animals. Both are limited by their poor ability to mimic the conditions of the human body. Cell cultures in a petri dish are unable to replicate every aspect of tissue function, such as how cells interact in the body or the dynamics of living organs. And animals are not humans—even small genetic differences between species can be amplified to major physiological differences. Fewer than 8% of successful animal studies for cancer therapies make it to human clinical trials. Because animal models often fail to predict drug effects in human clinical trials, these late-stage failures can significantly drive up both costs and patient health risks. To address this translation problem, researchers have been developing a promising model that can more closely mimic the human body—organ-on-a-chip.
GEN (January 24, 2023) First Application of AlphaFold in Identifying Potential Liver Cancer Drug
Of the thousands of diseases that affect humans, treatments exist for only a handful. This lack of available therapeutics and efficiency in drug discovery and development processes is poised for transformation with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI). AlphaFold’s phenomenal success in predicting protein structures for the entire human genome was a watershed moment for structure-based drug design.
The New York Times (January 23, 2023) What Do We Owe Lab Animals?
The advancement of animal-free methods for developing drugs and testing product safety does raise the possibility that, at least in some cases, the use of animals can be avoided. But it will take years for that to happen, and few researchers think the use of animals will cease altogether. So long as animals are used, then, the question remains: What do people owe them?
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