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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.