EEEK! Study Finds Mice Not So Perfect A Test Subject (UPDATED!)

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy, UConn Date:

\"mouse\"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.\”

Uh oh.

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.

Read more here.

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.

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2 thoughts on “EEEK! Study Finds Mice Not So Perfect A Test Subject (UPDATED!)

  1. Mike hyde

    Mice are not people, obviously, but most medical
    experiments cannot be performed safely and ethically
    on people. Many Nobel prizes in medicine have been awarded
    for mouse research. We shouldn’t be surprised that
    some experiments don’t work. We do science to discover
    new insights, after all.

    1. Connecticut is Dying Too

      Some Nobel prizes are awarded to recipients who have been in office for one month and who did nothing to earn the award. Given that fact, I wouldn’t put any stock into Nobel prizes.

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