Saturday, November 26, 2011
Human Testing May Now Be Possible
"Human-on-a-chip" is a groundbreaking system in the bio-medical industry. Imagine the ability to bypass the long process of animal and human trials in the testing of drugs? Researchers at the University of Central Florida discovered a way to use stem cells to grow neuromuscular junctions between human muscle cells and human spinal cord cells. This new breakthrough in science allows us to create miniature fully functioning organs. Testing on human organs opposed to mice and other organisms cuts out any reason of doubt in clinical trials. This may hold the key in the treatment of of many spinal cord injuries and diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. James Hickman and his colleagues at UCF have received about $1.4 million in grant funding from The National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Federal Drug Administration to help push this research forward.