Connecticut and Gov. Dannel Malloy have made a financial big bet on Jackson Labs, the Maine genomics research company that made its name on the little mouse as a test subject.
Now comes a New York Times has a story today about a new study that finds “the mouse model has been totally misleading for at least three major killers.”
Jackson, with a $300 million investment from the state of Connecticut, is building a new facility in Farmington at the University of Connecticut Health Center. The nonprofit uses mice in its genetics research. The study finds that “the mouse model” tell us nothing about sepsis, burns and trauma — three leading killers.
UPDATE: Jackson Labs Mike Hyde sends this comment:
While there are limitations to mouse-based studies, there are numerous benefits to be derived. Most such experiments simply could not be conducted in humans safely and ethically.
The fact is that research leading to almost every Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology awarded since 1901 was dependent on data from animal models, with mouse models predominating since the 1980s. George Snell of The Jackson Laboratory shared the 1980 Nobel Prize for his contributions, using mouse models, to the discovery of genetically determined structures on the cell surface that regulate immunological reactions. This work eventually led to the development of the immunosuppressant drugs that made organ transplantation commonplace.