Science can sometimes tread into places other people find uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it’s also these places that provide the most data or the most useful piece of data a scientists needs. That’s why there’ a continual effort to recreate the conditions of these places without the associated moral stigma.
In that regard, scientists from National Institutes of Health announced last Thursday that they had been able to create a sort of “mini-placenta” to be used to better understand how the placenta acts in pregnancy. The researchers hope this new technology will lessen our dependency on animal experimentation.
This is part of a field where research is usually done on a micro level. How? Human cells are developed on something that resembles a flash drive with a circuit to imitate the functions of organs. This developing technology promises to cost less while being more accurate than traditional study methods.
According to Robert Romero, a placenta researcher at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: “I try not to hate on people doing animal experiments — we do that, too.” “But we can do this [with the chip] before we go to the animal.”