Non-Animal Research in the News: April 2024

The Rise for Animals Team, May 1, 2024

We believe that the exploitation of animals is unethical and, in turn, we would oppose the use of animals in experimentation regardless of any benefits that such research might realize for people. But it just so happens that science is also on our side.

While the animal research industry continues to breed, buy, cage, torture, and kill sentient beings, progressive scientists are busy proving that human-relevant science is not only possible but, in fact, better for us all. April 2024 highlights in science are below. 

3D-Printed Tumors Replicate Biopsies of Cancer Patients

Kathy Vuksanaj, 4/1/2024

“3D printing tumors . . . results in more physiologically relevant, human-based tumor tissues and also provides high quantities of 3D-printed tumors from individual tumor biopsies. Therefore, scientists can perform more assays faster, winnowing out ineffective candidates early.”

“Carcinotech offers 3D-printed tumors for lung, brain, breast, colorectal, and ovarian cancers, as well as custom options. The company has plans to vascularize some of its printed tumors and to begin developing 3D-printed tumors for pediatric cancers . . . Carcinotech also plans to develop irradiated 3D-printed tumor models.”

“‘Our 3D-printed tumors are much more complex than organoids,’ . . . ‘They have so many different cell types – about 16 or 17 – in one printed tumor, and a whole immune panel can be profiled within these printed tumors.’ The 3D-printed tumors also offer consistency . . . which mean[s] consistent results across multiple assays . . . This level of consistency puts 3D-printed tumors ‘one step above the organoids,’….”

“‘Scientists could use 50 to 200 mice for efficacy studies, or they could replace them with 100 patient profiles using 3D-printed tumors. The latter option would let the scientists perform the studies within two years rather than the seven years those studies normally take.’”  📰 Full Story → 

(Meanwhile, in the corrupt world of animal research, animals continue to be sacrificed for cancer research that leads to erroneous conclusions.)


Artificial 3D Lung Brings ‘Positive Change to Research’

Alex Pope, 4/1/2024

“Milton Keynes-based ImmuONE, has created a model of a human lung to test and analyse inhaled medicines and products . . . helping to bring them to market.”

“The 3D lung can help to test products like fragrances, oils, sprays and paints and reduce the need for animal testing.”

“ImmuneOne said it was the only 3D lung available in the world, so aims [sic] to gain further investment and scale up the business in USA.”  📰 Full Story →


AI-Driven Breakthroughs in Drug Discovery and Treatment Optimization

Bernice Lottering, 4/4/2024

“Insilico Medicine[] claims to have developed the first ‘true AI drug,’ currently undergoing testing to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in humans. This drug is revolutionary because AI not only determined the cell target but also the drug’s chemical structure. Essentially, these large-AI focused decisions showcase how this tool is being developed, and with a specific focus toward curing diseases.”

“Insilico Medicine and Lunit’s achievements are of the many that highlight the transformative potential of AI in biomedical research. By leveraging advanced algorithms, AI augments traditional diagnostic and therapeutic methods, offering a faster and more efficient approach to identifying and deploying potential treatments. The integration of AI into drug discovery processes holds the promise of reimagining healthcare, offering hope for improved treatments and better patient outcomes.”  📰 Full Story → 


Lab-Grown ‘Minibrains’ Help Reveal Why Traumatic Brain Injury Raises Dementia Risk

Nicoletta Lanese, 4/7/2024

“Minibrains grown in the lab may help explain why concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) raise people’s risk of dementia.” 

“In a new study . . . scientists reported the results of an experiment in which they blasted these lab-grown models of the human brain — known as cerebral organoids — with high-intensity ultrasonic waves. The waves were intended to mimic damage to brain cells induced by severe traumatic brain injuries. The research hints at a strategy to block the downstream effects of brain injuries, the study authors reported. In theory, the treatment could be used as either a preventive measure or a therapy given post-injury.”

“ . . . organoids capture aspects of human biology that are difficult to study in animals, like lab mice. They can also be grown to include specific types of cells from different regions of the brain, arranged in layers as they would be in a person’s head.”  📰 Full Story → 

(Meanwhile, in the corrupt world of animal research, researchers continue “researching” human TBIs by bashing the brains of baby pigs and mice.)


Scientists Discover Potential Treatment Approaches for Polycystic Kidney Disease

NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services, 4/4/2024

“Researchers have shown that dangerous cysts, which form over time in polycystic kidney disease (PKD), can be prevented by a single normal copy of a defective gene. This means the potential exists that scientists could one day tailor a gene therapy to treat the disease. They also discovered that a type of drug, known as a glycoside, can sidestep the effects of the defective gene in PKD. The discoveries could set the stage for new therapeutic approaches to treating PKD, which affects millions worldwide.” 

“Scientists used gene editing and 3-D human cell models known as organoids to study the genetics of PKD.”  📰 Full Story →


Organoids Stand Out as Stand Ins in Drug Development

Kathy Liszewski, 4/9/2024

“‘Because organoids can be grown from human stem cells and from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, they have the potential to model human development and disease. Furthermore, they have potential for drug testing and even future organ replacement strategies.’”

“Organoid development has been accelerating thanks to the introduction of commercial technologies . . . Such technologies are enabling the modeling of rare diseases and tumors. Also, they are encouraging developers and regulators to position organoids as alternatives to animal models in drug testing . . . ‘organoid models can be developed more quickly and cheaply than animal models.’”

“ . . . organoids can model diseases that are a result of multiple or varied mutations. Indeed, organoids can model complex genetic diseases such as cancer. If organoids incorporate patient-specific mutations, individualized modeling is possible. Such modeling could be used to determine which drugs would be most suitable for individual patients.”

“‘One can implement human organoids at every step of the way – from target identification and target validation through preclinical safety and efficacy to stratification in clinical trials.’ . . . organoid technology ‘might not only revolutionize the way we do research and develop medicines, but also [enable the discovery of] completely new molecules for devastating diseases.’”  📰 Full Story →


Scientists Grow Brain-Like Tissue with Complex Connections In A Dish

University of Tokyo, 4/10/2024

“Studying the exact mechanisms of brain development and function has always been a challenge for researchers. Animal studies are limited by differences in brain structure and function between species, while brain cells grown in the lab often lack the characteristic connections found in the human brain.”

“Researchers from The University of Tokyo have made significant progress in this field by finding a way to create more physiological connections between lab-grown ‘neural organoids.’ These experimental model tissues are created by growing human stem cells into three-dimensional structures that mimic the developing brain. The team connected the organoids using axonal bundles, which is similar to how regions are connected in the living human brain . . . By creating more physiological connections between neural organoids, the research team has brought us closer to understanding the complex workings of the human brain.”

“As research in this field continues to advance, it may become possible to create even more sophisticated brain-like tissues in the lab. This could revolutionize our understanding of brain development, function, and disorders, potentially leading to new therapies for a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions.”  📰 Full Story →


Cheshire Laboratory Creates ‘Human Skin’ to Avoid Animal Testing

BBC, 4/25/2024

“‘In our lab here at XCellR8, we test for the safety and efficacy of all different kinds of products, from cosmetics to industrial chemicals, to medical devices, pesticides, all kinds of things, but we are doing that without the use of any animals or any animal derived components.’”

“Dr. Carol Treasure and her team are working to replicate and reproduce human skin cells in the laboratory. ‘When we are testing cosmetics, we want to test on reconstructed human skin, so we use cells that have been donated with consent by human donors. We are able to grow those cells in culture and if necessary we are able to get those to layer up to form a tiny piece of human skin in the laboratory, and this is great in terms of testing because it allows us to have the closest possible simulation of a real piece of human skin to test on.’”  🎥 Full Story →

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