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Wed Aug 7, 2019, 12:57 AM

Scientists grow bioengineered mini human livers to study therapies

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-07 02:53:21|Editor: Liu

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Scientists in the United States for the first time grew genetically modified miniature human livers to test therapeutics for human liver diseases.

The study published Tuesday in the journal Cell Metabolism showed how they transformed human stem cells into functional, 3D liver tissue that mimics non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

The human livers in the lab could not only help explain what causes the fat buildup in the liver, but also provide a ready and reliable test-bed for drugs at all stages of disease progression.

For example, the drug Resveratrol, which acts on SIRT1 proteins commonly associated with NAFLD, was effective in mouse models, but failed in human clinical trials.

Researchers from University of Pittsburgh genetically engineered normal human skin cells to express a chemically activated switch that could tamp down the SIRT1 gene.


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