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Can organoids usher in cheap & effective cancer therapeutics?

Dozens of science and technology development payloads returned to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) as SpaceX’s 29th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission, contracted by NASA, successfully concluded on December 22, 2023. More than 30 payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory returned on this mission, many of which were life science investigations aimed at benefiting humanity by improving care for patients on Earth. One among the payloads was an investigation from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), which studied microgravity’s effects on stem-cell derived brain organoids (lab grown replicas of human organs). While this might seem like science fiction, the story of organoids dates back to 1907. Fast forward to today, these tiny replicas of human organs are experiencing a dramatic surge in popularity, transforming the face of drug discovery research. Dubbed as powerful ‘human modelling systems’, organoids are paving the way for personalised medicines and shaking up the global drug development scene. India, too, is joining the bandwagon. Let’s explore the world of organoids and how it is pushing the boundaries of personalised medicine research and precision oncology.

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