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Biotech Science

OHSU Turns Mouse into Factory for Human Liver Cells 93

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the more-drugged-up-mice dept.
Oregon Health & Science University researchers have figured out how to turn a mouse into a factory for human liver cells that can be used to test how pharmaceuticals are metabolized. The technique, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, could soon become the gold standard not only for examining drug metabolism in the liver, which helps scientists determine a drug's toxicity, but also can be used as a platform for testing new therapies against infectious diseases that attack the liver, such as hepatitis C and malaria.
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OHSU Turns Mouse into Factory for Human Liver Cells

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Those of us with a touchpad or trackpoint seem to be out of luck.
    • You posted as AC for a reason, didn't you? ;-)

      F.
  • Downside... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:21AM (#20180307) Journal
    Downside: after one of those treatments you'll have a craving for cheese and a fear of cats. Then again, for some people it might not be much of a difference ;)
    • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes&xmsnet,nl> on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:26AM (#20180593)
      That's not so bad. It's the urge to take over the world that really causes problems.
      • That's what I was just pondering.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by BakaHoushi (786009)
        Egad, BRILLIANT hcdejong!

        Oh, wait, no, no... What if our Earth-conquering desires are constantly defeated by a combination of poor luck, gross incompetence, underestimating and overestimating the competence of the general public, and lack of communication? ...Troz!
      • That's not so bad. It's the urge to take over the world that really causes problems.
        Oh, I thought it was the strange obsession with finding the question that belongs with the answer to life, the universe and everything, which is 42.
      • Look at the bright side: At least you know what you are going to do tomorrow night:)
    • by martyb (196687)

      Downside: after one of those treatments you'll have a craving for cheese and a fear of cats. Then again, for some people it might not be much of a difference ;)

      I've found someone who MUST have been treated; he likes dogs and craves cheese. More details here [wikipedia.org]. ;^)

    • Confessor: (very slowly and painfully) Well it's not a question of wantiing to be a mouse... it just sort of happens to you. All of a sudden you realize... that's what you want to be.

      Interviewer: And when did you first notice these... shall we say... tendencies?

      Confessor: Well... I was about seventeen and some mates and me went to a party, and, er... we had quite a lot to drink... and then some of the fellows there ... started handing ... cheese around ... and well just out of curiosity 1 tried a bit
  • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:28AM (#20180335) Journal
    Now, if they'd just turn a rat into a factory for fava beans.
    • Make that java beans and you have geeks all over the planet on your side.
  • Booze (Score:3, Funny)

    by AkumaReloaded (1139807) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:41AM (#20180395) Journal
    So this means I can drink as much beer as I want without fearing liver damage, right?!!
    • Re:Booze (Score:4, Funny)

      by DaveCar (189300) on Friday August 10, 2007 @06:13AM (#20180529)

      I was hoping that might be the case too.

      You'll probably need to have a mouse grafted on under your right arm though :(
    • by E++99 (880734)

      So this means I can drink as much beer as I want without fearing liver damage, right?!!

      Only if you chase it with one of these modified mice.
    • by todd1000 (708499)
      First thing I thought, me needs a few of these liver producing mice ;-) I'll even make a nice home for them as long as they make more liver for me.
    • by swokm (1140623)
      Yes, if you don't mind walking around with a mouse stapled to your chest.

      (I hear that might be a turn of for the ladies... OTOH, you could do a killer 'Alien' impression.)
  • by dotslashdot (694478) on Friday August 10, 2007 @05:55AM (#20180463)
    As they say, "Liver let die". Sorry.
  • Animal Rights (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Moniker42 (1131485)
    I'm sure PETA, RSPCA etc will all have something to say about this. But i see it less immoral that we're using mice (at their expense) to end human suffering rather than to test cosmetics or kill simply because they're in our home. At least this kind of animal cruelty (as it could be construed) has a negating good karma benefit.
    • I'm sure the mouse feels terribly proud to be born with a fucked-up liver just so it can be repeatedly operated upon during its short but oh-so-meaningful life to provide alien cells to possibly save the lives of a few humans taking overpriced drugs from profit-obsessed corporations, to deal with conditions likely caused by their own overconsumption and excesses.

      Yeah, if I were one of those crippled mice I'd be terribly proud. I know that as a member of the species responsible for engineering these Jem'Had
      • by swokm (1140623)

        Yeah, if I were one of those crippled mice I'd be terribly proud. I know that as a member of the species responsible for engineering these Jem'Hadar-like mice dependent upon this ketracel-white-like NTBC, I'm also terribly proud.

        Would that be more or less proud than a mouse that was run over on the highway unnoticed? Is that considered a more honorable death in mouse culture (sorry, I am not familiar with the social conventions and religious beliefs of mice)? Or does it really not matter?

        If YOU had and inherited liver disease... wait, did you say Jem'Hadar? You mean... they are fearsome warriors armed with intergalactic travel and energy weapons?! Well, why didn't you say so -- that's completely different!

        I, for one, would like to

    • Being slashdot, animal rights ranks right up there with "think of the children" arguments.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday August 10, 2007 @08:10AM (#20181117)
    ...whose first thought was "Great, a spare liver on my desk."?

    I think it's not healthy that your first association with "mouse" is an input device and not a furry rodent. Guess it's time to check whether that yellow ball is still on top of that blue room.
    • Don't worry, it's not just you. After reading the title, I thought: "Such a simple piece of hardware, and look what they found to do with it." Too bad, that would have been cool.
    • by envelope (317893)
      My thought was, "if they can do that with a mouse, think of what they could do with a track ball!"
  • The giant mouse looked like this [typepad.com] and it stole my cookie.

  • Wasn't it liver cells that they injected into other mice to give regeneration? [bbc.co.uk] So... if they can make the mice make human liver cells...
    • by pathos49 (838882)
      Specifically what was done: The strain of mouse Grompee uses has a defect in tyrosine metabolism, Without drug, the tyrosine kills the host liver cells. Give drug and that pathway is shunted and cells do not die. Grompee then takes the mouse off drug AND injects human hepatocytes into the portal vein (direct path to liver) where the human hepatoctes repopulate the liver. The crug on off cycle can be repeated up to 4 times (so says the press release.

      While the human hepatocytes repopulate the mouse live
      • Well I guess my question would be: Can we get a strain of the regenerative mouse that also has this tyrocine deficiency and inject human liver cells into it to have them give the regenerative capability to a human host who could then have them injected into. Probably not after reading it, as the regenerative capability transference was occuring with foetal liver stem cells, not adult ones. But sounded cool when I thought of it.
        • by pathos49 (838882)
          INteresting comments. Your intuition is better than you think. The adult liver cell is considered to be the stem cell compartment for the adult liver. Grompee created this mouse strain to show that a hemopoetic stem cell also exists. He did serial hepatocyte transplants of "normal" littermates and used a purified hemopeotic cell line to show the compartment existed. Regeneration of the liver is one of the functions of the liver. Think about it....Evolution has selected the liver that is most capable
      • The strain of mouse Grompee...

        Awww! How can anyone hurt a lickle mouse called "Grompee"!

  • isn't the Human Liver a factory for Human Liver cells ?

    shouldn't they be doing research into organs that don't regenerate by themselves?
    • by Raptoer (984438)
      Perhaps, but the purpose is to be able to test drugs and diseases more effectively on mice because their livers are now using the same cells as a human liver.
      Besides, the researchers probably specialize in livers, so having them research some other organ would be like telling a programmer to go design a bridge.
  • can be used as a platform for testing new therapies against infectious diseases that attack the liver, such as hepatitis C...

    I'm more worried by the newer diseases like hepatitis C++.
  • ...the Internet is turning computer mice into bacteria factories.

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