Researchers describe advances in engineering an artificial lung in mice. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers describe how they've taken apart a rat lung and rebuilt it with new cells, growing functioning lung structures on a biological 'scaffolding' taken from lung tissue. While the researchers say the appropriate cell types don't exist yet to allow this technique to work in humans, the fact that the engineered lungs were able to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide just as normal lungs do offers hope for future medical applications. We'll talk about the work and where it's headed.
We'll also talk about work into creating a human 'lung-on-a-chip,'a microchip-mounted device the size of a pencil eraser that mimics a living, breathing human lung. Researchers hope that advance could help replace some medical studies that currently require the use of living animals.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer