By Sharanya Gopinathan
So I am one of those who is generally always flabbergasted and amazed by the complicated things scientists do in labs, and this is another one of those developments that leaves me mightily impressed at the brains and work of other people.
Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine has come up with a system that mimics the way a multi-organ female reproductive system works on a chip. It mimics all the hormonal changes and processes in the reproductive system, which gives them and other researchers a way to see how different medicines work in the female body, without having to test the processes out on actual human bodies. It opens the doors for all kinds of exciting research, and they hope to develop a similar system for the male reproductive system as well.
This is pretty useful in itself, but becomes particularly relevant given the backdrop of how women’s bodies have historically been used for medical testing with disastrous effects on their bodies, and could also possibly avert some of the ethical issues around testing on women’s bodies, which frequently deny some women treatment or screening for easily preventable diseases. Considering how often we hear stories about health practitioners putting women’s health at risk, it’s nice to hear about developments that take a step in ensuring that they aren’t any more.