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Organs-on-a-Chip to Fly to ISS

Among the cargo to be delivered to the International Space Station are "organs on a chip," Wired reports.

It adds that with these chips, researchers hope to study how human lung tissue reacts to Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection — which has been found in the space station — while in space. "At this point our hypothesis is that bacterial cells somehow become more virulent in the microgravity environment," University of Pennsylvania's Dan Huh tells Wired. "It's an interesting question for the field, but there's not much [data] out there, to be honest."

This effort is part of a National Institutes of Health's initiative at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, called the Tissue Chips in Space program. According to NCATS, these chips will be used to studying aging and other disease processes that are affected by microgravity and use those findings to improve treatments back on Earth. Other chips in the payload, NCATS says, are to be used to study kidney function, the blood-brain barrier, and knee joint injuries in space.

However, Wired notes that the launch of the Dragon cargo capsule has been delayed a few times, and reports that the launch was again delayed due to a helium leak. The next attempt is scheduled for tomorrow, it says.

The Scan

Support for Moderna Booster

An FDA advisory committee supports authorizing a booster for Moderna's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, CNN reports.

Testing at UK Lab Suspended

SARS-CoV-2 testing at a UK lab has been suspended following a number of false negative results.

J&J CSO to Step Down

The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Stoffels will be stepping down as chief scientific officer at Johnson & Johnson by the end of the year.

Science Papers Present Proteo-Genomic Map of Human Health, Brain Tumor Target, Tool to Infer CNVs

In Science this week: gene-protein-disease map, epigenomic and transcriptomic approach highlights potential therapeutic target for gliomas, and more