Scientists are increasingly lobbying for non-animal models for biomedical research, given that subtle genetic differences between humans and animals can lead to pronounced differences in disease severity. Advanced technologies such as organs-on-chips are showing potential to make biomedical research more human-relevant. Surat reports on a recent virtual event that initiated a dialogue on the possibilities and challenges of implementing human-relevant models and frameworks in India.
Traditional vaccine trials rely on large sample populations and natural infection processes. A quicker, cheaper, but riskier method, called Controlled Human Infection Model studies (CHIMs), has also been in practice for some time. In CHIMs, volunteers are deliberately infected with a pathogen to study its effects or to test the efficacy of a vaccine. In this article, Aditi examines the science behind CHIMs and the ethical implications of legalising this method in India, where such trials are presently banned.
With improved strategies to fight, prevent, and treat COVID-19 being the need of the hour, many Indian institutes and universities have redirected their research activities towards meeting this challenge. Suchibrata provides a glimpse into how various researchers at one such institute, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune, are contributing to this effort through innovative research solutions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing massive disruptions in our healthcare system, many Indian innovators are rising to the challenge. In this article, Vanshika explores some new technologies and ingenious solutions developed by Indian researchers from academia as well as industry that are currently in the pipeline.
A 3-week long nationwide lockdown is an unprecedented experience for most Indians. Recent scientific studies, including one where researchers carried out large-scale mathematical modelling of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, provide insight into why such extreme measures are imperative in current times.