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Biotech Medicine Science

Peoples' Immune Systems Can Now Be Duplicated In Mice 89

cylonlover writes "Because everyone's immune system is different, it's impossible to predict with absolute certainty how any given person will react to a specific medication. In the not-too-distant future, however, at-risk patients may get their own custom-altered mouse, with an immune system that's a copy of their own. Medications could be tried out on the mouse first, and if they are shown to have no adverse effects, the person could take the medication with a higher degree of confidence. If the person has an autoimmune disease, the mouse could also provide valuable insight into its treatment. A team led by Columbia University Medical Center's Dr. Megan Sykes has recently developed a method of creating just such a 'personalized immune mouse.'"
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Peoples' Immune Systems Can Now Be Duplicated In Mice

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  • by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:11PM (#39404745)
    Unfortunately they turned down a personalized immune mouse, so nobody saw it coming.
    • As Danger Mouse would say "Good grief Penfold!"

      Heart attacks don't have much to do with the immune system. So PETA mouse wouldn't have saved them.

      / I miss Danger Mouse- when are they going to make that into a 3D film?

    • by Kenja ( 541830 )
      Is that the same PETA whose leader takes canine insulin? Cause I dont much care what that hypocrite thinks.
      • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

        Insulin has not been made from canines in a very long time. It was never a commercial product as far as I can tell, but was experimented with in the 1920s. Bovine insulin was used for several decades. In the 1980s biosynthetic insulin was widely available and is pretty much all you can find these days.

        You live in 2012 and rather than use google and the other wonders of our time to learn something you repeated a stupid lie told to you by someone who is probably dumber than you. OUT! OUT! DEMONS OF IGNORANCE

  • by Brooklynoid ( 656617 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:15PM (#39404787)
    ...to use a guinea pig for this?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:17PM (#39404809)

    Yep, nothing could possibly go wrong with this.

    And throughout history, no mouse has ever infected a human. So ... we're ... safe?

    • Yep, nothing could possibly go wrong with this.

      And throughout history, no mouse has ever infected a human. So ... we're ... safe?

      The mouse will have a louse with a copy of its immune system. So we will know if the mouse gets sick.

      I suggest using Petrophaga lorioti.

  • by JustAnotherIdiot ( 1980292 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:18PM (#39404825)
    This is a very interesting concept, too bad every animal rights group will throw a fit.
    • They can throw a fit, but it won't really impede progress. I mean, we still *eat* animals and use their hides in shoes and handbags. Using mice for science is more ethical than cosmetic uses, and hardly every store carrying leather is affected by those nuts.
    • ... too bad every animal rights group will throw a fit.

      Let them. I would pull out the popcorn but I think a bucket of chicken would be more appropriate.

  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:21PM (#39404879) Journal
    Because they will jack me up with all kinds of cool drugs and I will live FOREVER...
  • Of Mice and Men [wikipedia.org] if John Steinbeck [wikipedia.org] had been a SciFi author. On second thought...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know how I feel about human diseases recombining and adapting at what I assume would be an abnormally high rate in an escaped population of these things...

  • by waterbear ( 190559 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:30PM (#39404985)

    It remains to be shown how realistically close to human this mouse model can possibly be.

    One remembers that a few years ago http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp068082 [nejm.org] (New England Journal of Medicine), a candidate antibody-type medicament from TeGenero produced severe toxicity in the first (and only) volunteers who received it, though previous animal trials had seemed to give a green light to take it forward to humans. Although the initial test animals there were not altered as in the way now proposed, clearly limits exist for the degree of alteration that can be achieved.


    • These examples are the exception. The lab mouse is the closest non-primate relative on the evolutionary tree (I believe). It's also a suitable model because of their short lifespans and ease of care. Morally, it's more appealing to many because of the apparent lower level of intelligence.

      I suppose using primates between mice and humans might make sense, provided they were administered in a similar manner to current clinical trials on humans. If it's ethical for humans to receive the clinical trial, then it'

      • The lab mouse is the closest non-primate relative on the evolutionary tree (I believe).

        Not exactly. As I understand it, the closest non-primate relative to humans is a type of lemur. [nature.com]

        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          Lemurs are primates.
          Flying lemurs are not lemurs nor are they primates.

          • Misled by the misnomer. Gotcha. Still, the answer isn't "mice", and it is *called* a lemur. Though, not properly so.

    • by doston ( 2372830 )
      I recall the reason the animals weren't harmed during testing was because they were "sterile" and had been bred for the lab, so the animals didn't have real immune systems, like a normal person or animal living in the wild. I read that the cytokine storm the humans experienced would have happened in an animal with a more devleoped immune system.
  • I wanna call it Rupert.
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:37PM (#39405085) Journal
    For who among us has not heard the refrain "Eh, it seemed stable on the test box, push it to the Production instances."?
    • Followed by "What do you mean we weren't taking backups of the production environment?"
      • by martas ( 1439879 )
        Yes, that's why I always back myself up before I take experimental medication. I can't believe there are still people out there who don't make regular backups of themselves. I mean, hello, this is pretty basic stuff here, god!
    • You mean the other way around:

      "It stood up to the load in production, so lets use that codebase for our development!"

      • by Kyont ( 145761 )

        LOL. "Then later on, after it's gotten out of sync with Production, we might even check it in to source control." Too painfully true.

  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @01:40PM (#39405131)

    Hmmmm... I have a few thoughts.

    1) It is well documented that women subconsciously detect in odor the signature of the immune system of men- and this is one of those "chemical" signals that women look for in men.

    2) Are women now suddenly going to be attracted to mice?

    3) Is this going to be a marketing ploy- carry a mouse of a based on a chick-magnet around and get women to sniff it so that they'll turn to you.

    4) If we start giving mice human DNA- are we not worried they'll start getting smarter and plan world domination?

  • the Rodents Immunity Assoc of America and the Mouse Patrol Assoc of America are closely watching this for futher developments.

  • by poptix ( 78287 )

    Does this remind anyone else about Hawat and the cat he has to milk daily to keep the Baron's poison from killing him?

  • A medical test that definitely won't result in protests!
  • Dr. House, your patient's mouse had a louse, but don't grouse. It died when Dr. Kraus scanned at 100 gauss. We should douse the patient's blouse with anti-louse, though. Hey, I hear Strauss.

  • by afeeney ( 719690 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @02:41PM (#39405925)
    Of course, the mice actually decided that this was the easiest way to get humans to serve as genetic test subjects for them.
  • Just curious because the cells that actually make antibodies basically "reprogram" themselves into making a specific antibody. (They start out not knowing how to make antibodies and when they get exposed to something they actually edit their own genetic code to try and make an antibody that works.)
  • So some poor mouse will be thinking he's going to The Island...
  • A modern science canary for the coal mines.
  • But I want to save your life with a medicine today. You want me to harvest some genetic material, engineer it into a mouse embryo or germ cell, wait for said mouse to grow to maturity, then hit it with my prospective medicine, and see if it proves safe. You the patient will be long dead by then. Advancements in medicine seem so cool when they are merely theoretical. Let me know when it actually happens and is ready for prime time use in my busy general practice. Best, --JSt (MD)
  • That seems a clever idea to help mice-specific diseases to cross the species barrier and infect humans.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford