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Researchers Create Lung On a Chip

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-bet-the-borg-use-something-like-this dept.

Medicine 45

ElectricSteve writes "Utilizing human lung and blood vessel cells, researchers have created a device mounted on a microchip that mimics a living, breathing human lung. About the size of a rubber eraser, the device was developed by a team from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, and Children's Hospital Boston. Because it's translucent, researchers can watch the processes taking place inside of it — something that's difficult to do with an actual lung. It will be used for testing the respiratory effects of environmental toxins, aerosolized therapeutics, and new drugs. Using conventional models, such tests can cost more than $2 million."

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Excuse me!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694282)

Excuse my aside but I thought I would post an interesting fact that some people may or may not know. Now everyone knows that race has a correlation to penis size, but did you know that programming languages did to? Gary Niger, programming languages expert for Goatse Security, had this to say on the subject:

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On the other hand, the World Organization on Penises (WOP) have found that programmers in C# and Java have been shown to have some of the biggest penises in the industry (lowest end measurements are around 7" inches long and 6" in circumference).

If this post has been insightful for you please mod it up. Also feel free to link this post on Digg, Reddit or other news aggregator sites. Thank you for your time.

Science Friday (3, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694290)

For anyone interested, this is the topic of Science Friday on NPR -right now-.

Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (3, Funny)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694300)

So before a whole bunch of people talk about implanting a RAID array of solid state lungs in you, or helping people, or finding a better way to assist people with breathing issues, I'm going to give kudos to the submitter for putting the intended purpose of these things in the summary.

That aside, when will we be able to implant a RAID array of solid state lungs?

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694332)

Would be a RAIL array..

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

weirdo557 (959623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694398)

That would be a RAIL. redundant array of independent lungs array would be redundant in the wrong way.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695288)

Oh, go type your PIN number into an ATM machine.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32697082)

I advise against doing that, it's proven to transmit the HIV Virus

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694430)

Yep.

And cybernetic stoners would have to smoke marijuana from a tiny redundant array of inexpensive bongs...

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694466)

if you require redundancy on your bong, you might be the only person on earth who is actually addicted to weed.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694372)

Isn't it a beowulf cluster, how long have you been here?

If you want to go raid, how would RAID 5 work with these?

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694460)

If you want to go raid, how would RAID 5 work with these?

With n-1 lung efficiency, i guess.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694498)

That aside, when will we be able to implant a RAID array of solid state lungs?

Soon enough, but it will be costly. I hope you can remember your PIN number at the ATM machine.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694708)

The phrases "PIN Number" and "ATM Machine" were entered into public lexicon specifically as a litmus test for those with a unique combination of OCD and lack of social skills. You sir, have failed the litmus test, please report to the nearest hugbox for processing.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (3, Funny)

boneclinkz (1284458) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695358)

I'm back from processing, and now entirely comfortable with the concept of a redundant RAID array of independent disks. Also, I have newfound confidence in social situations.

I even talked to a girl.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694720)

The "R" in RAID stands for redundant. I thought most people wanted their RAIDs to be redundant ;-)

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694704)

Your lungs are already RAID-1

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695792)

You're probably better off just going with JBOL.

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695800)

That aside, when will we be able to implant a RAID array of solid state lungs?

Imagine a beowolf cluster of them...

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32696110)

Wouldn't that be a RAIL? Redundant Array of Independent Lungs

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (2, Funny)

Psion (2244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696402)

I'd be up for a RAID array of solid state lungs if they're more efficient than normal lungs. Up to now, I've been hoping for re-engineered lungs based on those used by birds. I figure the high-efficiency of bird lungs will allow me to opt for smaller lungs and then give me room for a second heart (because it just doesn't make sense to have only one organ doing such an important job). Now with hyper-efficient lungs and two hearts spreading all that oxygenated blood through my circulatory system, I expect to be extra alert and a bit more sharp. Then I'll finally be able to figure out how to make my garden shed bigger on the inside. WHO knows where that could lead!

Re:Sweet, a use that isn't lung replacement (1)

vidnet (580068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701066)

And, of course, there are benefits beyond the stated cost savings. We get to see the effects on human lung tissue rather than on approximations like mouse lungs, and it can reduce the number of animals needed for testing.

LungChips (3, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694346)

Now available in Regular, BBQ, and Cool Ranch flavors.

Obligatory: But Will LOAC (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694376)

run WinBLOZE [microsoft.com] ?

Yours In Krasnoyarsk,
K. Trout

hands off our chips! (2, Funny)

slashmojo (818930) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694382)

Legions of british couch potatoes were almost moved to protest the inhuman experiments on their national dish.. but couldn't be bovvered.

*phew* lucky I read the summary after..

Hey its friday, gimme a break! ;)

Conventional methods? (2, Funny)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694390)

"Using conventional models, such tests can cost over $2 million."
 
Conventional methods for testing human lungs? Like, for shackles, hiding bodies and bribing the local police?

Re:Conventional methods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694964)

D@mn expensive, that is.

Re:Conventional methods? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32696054)

"Using conventional models, such tests can cost over $2 million."

Conventional methods for testing human lungs? Like, for shackles, hiding bodies and bribing the local police?

Actually it is easier to just market the thing you want to test, to children.

Progress (2, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694410)

First I can't stick magnets to my hard drive. Now I can't smoke around my CPU. These new-fangled inventions are killing all my fun.

Two words... (0, Troll)

peteinok (1825618) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694518)

self aware. We weren't meant to recreate life, simply enjoy it.

Re:Two words... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694752)

and if I enjoy recreating life?

Re:Two words... (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696204)

My head just asploded.

recreate [merriam-webster.com]

We weren't meant for recreation, we were meant to have fun! Uh, and I doubt these artificial lungs are self-aware. But the artificial lens in my left eye sees a lot better than the real one it replaced did, even if it's not self-aware. I don't think the real lens was self-aware, either.

Re:Two words... (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696356)

say what now? we're not supposed to procreate? (and yes i do believe procreate / recreate / create all have the same meaning here)

What would be really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694546)

What would be really neat is if they could do the same thing but in reverse, ie. carbon fixation.

Re:What would be really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32694794)

It's called a tree.

Terminators? (2, Insightful)

ubermiester (883599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694648)

So are we putting the pieces together on our own or is SkyNet reaching back from the future to make us do it..?

What next? (2, Funny)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694764)

Yesterday we had the story about artificial lungs implanted on rats [slashdot.org] , today we have this... I think in a week we'll have a story about a computer system, which will be given command over all military hardware...

The sport version (1)

syntheticmemory (1232092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32694946)

Denies it is on steroids...

Ill Pass... (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695078)

...I prefer Queso, Salsa and Jalapenos on my chips

Re:Ill Pass... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701144)

hey, stop eating mexican over a open computer case!

will work for cheese (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695184)

With yet another job taken by machines, how will the mice find work so they can feed their little babies?

For whom the bell tulls (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32695676)

Sitting on a lab bench
Came of mad science with good intent.
Environmental toxins
Clear tissues seared by nasty goo!
Twitching under cold lights
shivering as endless tests are run.
Looking quite obscene
If it had a mouth it would probably scream.

Microlung!

Re:For whom the bell tulls (1)

MaerD (954222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696060)

...Luckily Ian Anderson is still with us, else the speed of his rotating in his grave would throw the earth off axis and we'd all need "MicroLungs"

Great news for smokers... (1)

UBfusion (1303959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696230)

Can this thing can just allow nicotine and perform tar garbage collection?

Re:Great news for smokers... (1)

TangoMargarine (1617195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32696304)

Come again?
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