The cell is the smallest basic structural unit of all living organisms. Each cell maintains an individual genetic blueprint of life in their DNA genome. Humans are composed of 10 trillion (1013) cells ranging in size from roughly 10 to 100 μm (10−5 meters). A linear path of thought holds that examination of each individual cell will predict the behavior of the intact human, a primary driver for the study of cell biology. The unappreciated lesson from cell biology is the extent of genetic and transcriptomic plasticity that defines our resilience.
Translation of observations from biochemistry to animal testing include obligate in vitro testing. Can we skip this step? Animal experimentation is an integral part of drug development but limitations and skepticism deserve consideration. No animal models exist for many emerging infectious disease. Should we skip this step and proceed to human clinical trials?
KeywordsCell culture Stem cells Microphysiological systems Animal model Animal rule
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