Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine Science

Drug Testing In Mice May Be a Waste of Time, Researchers Warn 148

Posted by Soulskill
from the research-sponsored-by-mice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A group of researchers including Dr. H. Shaw Warren of Mass. General Hospital and Stanford genomics researcher Ronald W. Davis have published a paper challenging the effectiveness of the 'mouse model' as a basis for medical research, based on a decade-long study involving 39 doctors and scientists across the country. In clinical studies of sepsis (a severe inflammatory disorder caused by the immune system's abnormal response to a pathogen), trauma, and burns, the researchers found that certain drugs triggered completely different genetic responses in mice compared with humans. The Warren-Davis paper was rejected by both Science and Nature before its acceptance by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, perhaps suggesting the degree to which the 'mouse model' has become entrenched within the medical research community. Ninety five percent of the laboratory animals used in research are mice or rats. Mice in particular are ideal subjects for research: they are cheap to obtain and house, easy to handle, and share at least 80 percent of their genes with humans (by some reckoning, closer to 99 percent). Over the past twenty five years, powerful methods of genetically engineering mice by 'knocking out' individual genes have become widely adopted, so that use of mice for drug testing prior to human clinical trials has become standard procedure."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Drug Testing In Mice May Be a Waste of Time, Researchers Warn

Comments Filter:
  • Rejection (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:29PM (#42873671)

    >> The Warren-Davis paper was rejected by both Science and Nature before its acceptance by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, perhaps suggesting the degree to which the 'mouse model' has become entrenched within the medical research community.

    Or maybe it was rejected because it isn't a good paper? Just a thought.

  • How many (Score:5, Insightful)

    by canadiannomad (1745008) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:39PM (#42873799) Homepage

    I often wonder how many drugs we reject long before human trials because some researcher used the wrong animal to test.

    Also an obligatory SMBC comic [smbc-comics.com]

  • Re:Mice welfare (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:41PM (#42873829)

    Sorry but like Florida just showed you spend more money on that drug testing program than you save on kicking them out of the system. Plus it is unfair to the mouselets, they did not choose their parents.

  • Re:Peer review (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:49PM (#42873935) Journal

    Being rejected by Science and Nature might also be indicative of being bad science. Not reading the report yet, the options seem to be intellectual dishonesty from some of the most respected sources of science, or the mice findings are fundamentally flawed. On the outset, I think being rejected by big names in science is usually pretty telling.

    PNAS isn't exactly some chickenshit vanity press...

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @02:35PM (#42874507) Homepage Journal

    Exactly. I've worked with some labs that got original biological and biochemical papers published in both Science and Nature, and it's very hard to get in those. Even with new biochemistry or new biology.

    Try publishing a paper on methodology of statistical inference. That's not easy at all.

The idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest.

Working...