Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

'Organs-on-a-Chip'

Researchers are working on a new device to help scientists test drugs more efficiently and that may eliminate the need to test on animals, reports Melinda Wenner Moyer at Scientific American. Developers of a new microchip that simulates the biology of entire organ systems — called "organs on a chip" — say these glass slides coated with human cells are made to mimic a particular tissue or how certain tissues interact with each other, Moyer says. The chips are still in their early stages, and while drugmakers are interested in the technology, they are being cautious. The chips may not completely show certain aspects of a living physiological system the way animal tests do, Moyer adds. Ultimately, researchers want to make the chips sophisticated enough to mimic complex systems, possibly an entire person. The chips could even become personalized to patients, containing cells with specific gene mutations, she says.

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.