Experts have claimed that farms of artificial humans will be used as a replacement for live animal testing within the next three years.
The idea may sound like something straight out of the pages of a science fiction novel, but the reality is that human lungs, livers and other organs have already been replicated on smartphone-sized microchips to test the human’s body reaction to new drugs.
Labeled, somewhat humorously, as “human on a chip,” the artificial organs work together to replicate an organic human system.
Chips emulating two and four organ systems are already in use, and it is hoped in the future to introduce chips replicating all the vital functioning organs.
The team behind the use of artificial humans believe it will replace the controversial technique of using living tests on animals.
With more than 100-million animals exploited each year in brutal tests for a diverse range of chemicals, drugs and food, farms of artificial humans would appear to be a positive step in the right direction.
The developers TissUse believe that the development of a 10-organ chip was only three years away and when it arrives it could “revolutionize drug development.”
TissUse’s Berlin-based tissue engineer, Uwe Marx gave an impassioned plea for farms of artificial humans, at the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Prague.
The Sunday Times reported that Marx said:
“In the future, it will be possible, for example, to significantly reduce the number of animals used in pharmaceutical research and to substitute current alternative methods to animal testing.
“If this system is approved it would close down most of the animal-testing laboratories worldwide. I hope to create human farms made up of hundreds of machines.”
In a previous article, The Inquisitr reported that the number of animal experiments in the UK continues to rise, with over 4.12 million animals experimented on in the space of one year.
If farms of artificial humans could put an end to the suffering of these poor animals, are critics right to be suspicious of TissUse’s vision.
Many would argue yes and point out that TissUs’s technology bears considerable similarities to the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix.
In the movies, humans are kept on farms by machines, who in turn harvest the energy in their bodies.
What do you think? Is TissUse’s vision of a world littered with farms of artificial humans a step into a brave new world, or a descent into bleak and barren future where organizations such as PETHA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Artificial Humans) will prosper.