This is a mini-gut organoid generated in a laboratory from human stem cells.
It has helped US researchers simulate leaky gut conditions (not everyone’s idea of fun, it must be said) and move closer to finding a treatment for an unpleasant condition that may be more common, and more harmful, than previously thought.
Microbes and molecules seeping out of intestines can trigger an immune response, contributing to a variety of diseases driven by chronic inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease, dementia, atherosclerosis, liver fibrosis, cancers, diabetes and arthritis.
It’s currently hard for doctors to tell who has it – and there is no real treatment.
However, after creating their 3D models of human intestines from patient cells, researchers from the University of California San Diego have revealed new biomarkers they say help define what a leaky gut looks like.
Writing in the journal Life Science Alliance, they also describe a potential pathway for tightening leaky guts with a common, available medication.
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.