Human on a chip

"Scientists are recreating the human body on a microchip - using clumps of cells from different organs linked by fluid-filled channels - to reduce the amount of animal testing for drugs.
Michael Schuler, at Cornell University, in New York, built a chip which, among other tissues, carried liver and lung cells. Tests with naphthalene, a chemical found in mothballs, showed that the liver cells broke the chemical down into toxic byproducts that killed some of the lung cells - the same effect seen in people.
The chips could be used to see how viruses cause infection and how drugs work, and cells could be given a disease to investigate treatment. "We're not saying we can replace animal studies, we just hope to make them more efficient, and reduce our use of animals," said Dr Schuler." The Guardian

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