Military Seeks Human Biochips to Speed Drug Testing

New drugs or vaccines must pass animal trials to prove safe enough for human clinical testing, but mice and rats still represent imperfect test subjects for substances aimed at helping humans. That’s why the U.S. military’s science agency wants to replace rodents with miniaturized biochip versions of human body parts and organs.

The specially engineered human tissue could do much more than act as a guinea pig without feelings; it would likely produce much more accurate results related to the effects of drugs or vaccines. The Pentagon’s DARPA even envisions biochips helping to speed up drug and vaccine production to ward off contagious threats, such as a possible pandemic or a bioterrorism attack.

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