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Yes, But Can They Drink Beer Like People?

Mice are an important tool in biomedical research, particularly when it comes to testing possible new drugs, says 80beats' Joseph Castro. But when it comes to testing drug side effects, they're not always accurate — mouse livers and human livers react differently to pharmaceutical compounds. But in a new study published in PNAS, researchers at MIT say they've found a solution, Castro says: implanting mice with miniature, humanized livers. The team first developed tissue scaffolds by combining hepatocytes with other mouse and human cells. Once the scaffolds were implanted into the mice's abdominal cavities, the livers took about a week to integrate fully into the mice, Castro says. In addition to more accurately predicting drug toxicity, the researchers think the new livers will help scientists find treatments for diseases like hepatitis C, which mice don't normally contract, he adds.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.