When a new medical treatment is discovered, it has to be tested on rats in a lab and, later, on select humans. The process takes about 10 years, costs about $1 billion and sometimes produces a medicine that doesn’t work anyway. Thanks to induced pluripotent stem cells, though, researchers now have a way to engineer human tissues in the lab. It’s a process that can create diverse, more realistic models for drug testing … and may eventually lead to customized pharmeceuticals.

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