A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has received a $5.6 million grant from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its organs-on-chips technology to test human physiological responses to radiation and evaluate drugs designed to counter those effects. The effort will also be supported by a team in the vascular biology program at Children’s Hospital Boston.The multiyear project will investigate whether organs-on-chips — tiny, microfluidic devices that are lined by living human cells and mimic complex organ physiology — can be used instead of animals to evaluate the efficacy and safety of medical treatments for radiation sickness, or acute radiation syndrome (ARS). Animal models often fail to accurately predict human responses, and human subjects cannot be tested with exposure to lethal radiation.ARS occurs when the body receives a high dose of radiation, usually over a short period of time. Symptoms range from loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to seizures, coma, and death. The project is part of the FDA’s Medical Countermeasures Initiative (MCMi), which it launched in 2010.“One of the fundamental goals of the MCMi is to ensure that we are prepared to respond effectively to acts of terrorism that may involve radiological or nuclear attacks, and to incidents such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011,” said Luciana Borio, head of the FDA program. “We have a lot to learn about the human physiological response to radiation, and are excited to explore the potential of the Wyss Institute’s novel human organs-on-chips in filling that knowledge gap in a safe and cost-effective way.”,Combining microfabrication techniques with modern tissue engineering, lung-on-a-chip offers a new in vitro approach to drug screening by mimicking the complicated mechanical and biochemical behaviors of a human lung. This extended version of the video includes Wyss Institute findings when its researchers mimicked pulmonary edema-on-the-chip.[/gz_video]Earlier this year the institute’s lung-on-a-chip received the 3Rs prize from the U.K.’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement, and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). The award followed a landmark publication in Science Translational Medicine demonstrating the team’s success using the lung on a chip to model human pulmonary edema (commonly known as fluid on the lungs) and to test potential new drug therapies under development.“We currently have over 10 different organs-on-chips in development, and are excited to work with the FDA to explore a new way to rapidly identify radiation countermeasures without having to rely on animal studies,” said Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber, who leads the organs-on-chips effort at the institute.The FDA-funded project will study three organs on chips. The three devices mimic the structure and physiology of human bone marrow, gut, and lung. These organ systems are the most susceptible to the toxic effects of radiation in humans, because of exposure to airborne particulates in the case of the lung, and extremely high cell turnover rates in the cases of the gut and bone marrow.“Our organs on chips enable us to investigate how specific human cell types and organ systems respond to radiation — something very difficult or impossible to mimic in animal studies,” said Wyss senior staff scientist Anthony Bahinski, who is helping lead the project. The effects of radiation and organ-level responses to potential radiation therapies can be observed in real time; the microdevices, about the size of a memory stick, are made of a clear, flexible polymer and can be attached to sophisticated imaging equipment.The lung-on-a-chip re-creates the way the human lung physically expands and retracts when breathing, and the gut on a chip mimics the peristaltic motions of the gut. This ability to replicate the physical microenvironment of living organs enables the organs on chips to recapitulate functions with a fidelity not possible in conventional culture systems, and it represents a key advantage of these novel bioinspired microtechnologies.The bone marrow chip employs a unique approach to organ-chip design in which the team uses tissue engineering to form a whole bone with an intact marrow in vivo — and then surgically removes it and places it under microfluidic conditions in the laboratory. From there it can undergo testing in response to radiation and radiation therapies.“We should have a much better understanding of how our bones, intestines, and lungs respond physiologically to radiation and radiation therapies at the conclusion of this project,” Bahinski said.In addition to the FDA, the Wyss Institute acknowledges support that led to the development of the organs-on-chips technology from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health.
Augustus property consultant Ric King with his wife Simone.“Augustus has seen a clear upsurge in first-home buyers and retirees lapping up the savings from the two government grants,” Mr King said.“The pending expiry of both grants spurred sales and allowed more first-home buyers to enter the market with a potential saving of up to $32,000.”The 763 lot project in the heart of Hervey Bay, offers a range of family-friendly features including community parklands and an enclosed dog park.Augustus is less than 1km from local shopping and medical facilities with easy access to neighbouring beachside suburbs at Hervey Bay.With new homes selling from $337,000, the estate has three and four-bedroom homes at Augustus come complete, landscaped and ready to move into, and all just 4km from the Hervey Bay Esplanade and 13km from the airport. Augustus estate in Hervey Bay is past the halfway mark in sales.FIRST-home buyers and retirees have pushed a large development in Hervey Bay past the halfway mark with more than 400 sales since its launch.Developer Villa World’s, Augustus masterplanned residential development, has experienced strong sales in recent months reporting its been pushed by a strong cohort of first-home buyers and retirees.Villa World development manager Gary Hunter said the project had attracted consistent buyer interest over many years, but the combination of the now expired $12,000 Hervey Bay Housing Affordability Grant, and the State Government’s boosted first homeowner’s grant of $20,000 had generated an influx of buyers for the project.“In recent months, we’ve seen record sales figures at Augustus from first-home buyers and retirees alike,” Mr Hunter said.“Villa World has a great reputation in providing an affordable, quality product to market. The grant was just the icing on the cake.”The latest sales have led first-home buyers to account for 70 per cent of sales at Augustus, with 20 per cent to retirees and only 10 per cent to investors. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home6 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor6 hours agoSales have almost doubled in recent months with 33 contracts secured in the March quarter of 2017. Augustus property consultant Ric King said sales momentum and figures had reflected the success of the grants.
Florida’s health department today reported 8,942 new cases of COVID-19, smashing the previous record of 5,511. The new cases bring the total confirmed cases in the state to 122,960, including 3,366 deaths. After setting another one-day COVID-19 record on Wednesday, Florida broke the record again today, with a massive increase of almost 9,000 new cases. In South Florida, Miami-Dade County’s confirmed cases increased by 1,532 to 30,196. The county has 946 deaths, the highest total in the state. Broward’s cases increased by 736 to 13,320. The county’s death toll rose to 381. Palm Beach County’s cases increased by 658 to 12,498, with the death toll at 490. While some counties have increased safety measures such as requiring face coverings for all residents and harsher penalties for non-compliant businesses, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis still maintains that the increase in cases is as a result of increased testing. “What we’re seeing today, obviously a lot of news [is] saying a huge number of ‘cases,‘” DeSantis said at a press conference on Friday. “Really nothing has changed in the past week. We had a big test dump. We’ve been testing, 10-15% have been testing positive for really the last week. And that’s a huge change from where we were at the beginning of June, when we were basically 3-4% in terms of the positivity statewide.”