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Why Wait? Build Your Own

Alice Chen, a biomedical engineering grad student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was awarded a $30,000 2011 Lemelson-MIT student prize last week for her work in building artificial human livers that could one day help patients waiting for organ transplants, reports The Boston Globe's Carolyn Johnson. Even though her work is still years away from helping transplant patients, Chen has found a more immediate use for her research — she discovered that she could implant the engineered liver cells into mice to create "humanized" animals that can be used in drug screening, Johnson says. "Chen realized that a mouse with a humanized liver could surmount a major hurdle in the development of drugs and provide a new model for diseases that do not affect rodents the same way they affect humans, such as hepatitis C," she adds.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.