The human stomach remains a medical mystery in many respects, which is a stumbling block for those who would develop ‘smart’ foods to improve health and wellbeing. So, what do you do when you have a system that you don’t fully understand? You build a model and run experiments on it, of course – which is exactly what a gang of UK biotech researchers have done. Their artificial stomach contains all the chemicals and enzymes to be found in the real thing, and mimics the contractions that occur during the digestion process. It can even simulate vomiting if required – which must be really popular with the lab support staff.