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Medicine Biotech

Creating "Homo Minutus" — a Benchtop Human To Test Drugs 49

Science_afficionado (932920) writes "Vanderbilt University scientists reported significant progress toward creating 'homo minutus' — a benchtop human — at the Society of Toxicology meeting on Mar. 26 in Phoenix. The advance is the successful development and analysis of a human liver construct//organ-on-a-chip that responds to exposure to a toxic chemical much like a real liver. The achievement is the first result from a five-year, $19 million multi-institutional effort led by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), to develop four interconnected human organ constructs — liver, heart, lung and kidney — that are based on a highly miniaturized platform nicknamed ATHENA (Advanced Tissue-engineered Human Ectypal Network Analyzer). The project is supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Similar programs to create smaller-scale organs-on-chips are underway at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health."
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Creating "Homo Minutus" — a Benchtop Human To Test Drugs

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  • Meh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @05:12AM (#46628761) Journal
    I always just use orphans. Nobody seems to care about those.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @05:14AM (#46628771)
    Homo Minutus .. Also known as "that little faggot"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why not just midgets?

    • by hink ( 89192 )
      Cause midget is an unacceptable term. My son has dwarfism, and shit like that pisses me off.
      • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
        You have no problem with dwarfism? Why is midget unacceptable. I don't know about you, but a small fly sounds like a better comparison than a demonic spirit...
  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by MRe_nl ( 306212 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @05:20AM (#46628789)

    A homunculus is shaped from a mixture of clay, ashes, mandrake root, spring water, and one pint of the creatorâ(TM)s own blood. The materials cost 50 gp. The creatureâ(TM)s master may assemble the body or hire someone else to do the job.
    After the body is sculpted, it is animated through an extended magical ritual that requires a specially prepared laboratory or workroom, similar to an alchemistâ(TM)s laboratory and costing 500 gp to establish. If the creator is personally constructing the creatureâ(TM)s body, the building and ritual can be performed together.

  • What about the fundamental rights of these organs?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They have the right to remain silent.

  • by vikingpower ( 768921 ) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @05:37AM (#46628817) Homepage Journal
    What with April 1st and so on... Anyways, tomorrow I will be in Prague, and will propose the job offer to the Golem. He's been jobless for centuries now.
    • What with April 1st and so on...

      Everyday is April Fool's Day with Slashdot Beta....

    • I'm pretty sure he'd be offended by the "minutus" part, so let's hope he doesn't understand Latin. Just don't piss him off in Hebrew and you should be fine.
      • He was quite polite to me, pointing out that Oracle had already hired him to shovel Big Data. "My salary is a hype, but I am in for the spell and the hype only, anyways". After which we drank one of those excellent Czech beers and went our separate ways.
        • "He was quite polite to me, pointing out that Oracle had already hired him to shovel Big Data"

          I'm pretty sure that's just a clever ploy:

          1) Hire Golem,

          2) Wait until the unstable Golem becomes enraged and destroys the neighboring IBM campus at Chodov,

          3) Disclaim everything. :-)

          • Hm. The Golem leaving the Prague ghetto and wreaking havoc at Chodov, which belongs to the administrative district of Karlovy Vary - that would be an historical first. The defenestration of tradition, so to say :-)
            • Huh? Now what do Karlovy Vary have to do with anything? That's like saying that Olympia is the capital of Washington, D.C. I suspect you actually haven't been to Prague, being blissfully unaware where Oracle is. You might even have lied about having met the Golem! Now I feel hurt.
              • Misunderstanding. There is a Chodov that is a suburb of Karlovy Vary. I did not check that there is also a Chodov close to Prague. In fact, I am not in the least interested in Oracle. Sorry for your hurt feelings. Next time I go to Prague ( which is slightly over 3 hrs driving from here ), I'll bring you a hair from the Golem. Do you feel better now ?
  • Clearly an April fools' prank.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's we he does. He gets all the time off he wants, new drugs to try out, and money for nothing really. Has anyone considered the harm this will do?

    • His job's probably safe; by all accounts this is going to be a superior alternative to animal and in-vitro studies. Given the simplicity of the model you'll still need to test drugs in actual people.

    • Not a bad gig, huh? He gets his money for nothin'.. Hell I bet he gets his chicks for free too!
  • I understand Professor Folo Lirpa of the LMB Institute of Biology, Andorra, provided much of the early work on which the paper which you allude to in this article is based.

    Your insensitive clod rating has been appropriately adjusted.

    E 8-)

  • Will they be selling consumer versions as pets?

  • If you want to have a lame April Fool's joke, that's fine, but done have autoplaying beeping. There's no purpose for that, other than enticing people to track you down and beat you with a rusty pipe.
  • I believe they are called "monkeys".

System checkpoint complete.