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Feb 27, 2013

Health Testing on Mice Is Found Misleading in Some Cases - NYTimes.com

Massachusetts General Hospital - 1847
Boston Public LIbrary photo of etching by Reuben Carpenter
The NY Times relays the findings of a study reported by the National Academy of Sciences that mouse models, which have been relied upon for a long time, suck in regard to examining how inflammation acts in human bodies (the title of the study is:
"Genomic responses in mouse models poorly mimic human inflammatory diseases.") Duh.
Here is a link to the NY Times article:
Health Testing on Mice Is Found Misleading in Some Cases - NYTimes.com

The Abstract from the paper states:
mouse & human (photo by Pwin)
"In addition to improvements in the current animal model systems, our study supports higher priority for translational medical research to focus on the more complex human conditions rather than relying on mouse models to study human inflammatory diseases." I don't know what they mean by that exactly. Current animal model systems don't need to be improved, but rather abolished(!). Inflammatory disease in humans is complex---inflammation is a component of several major human diseases. See the Life Extension article which states: 
"Of the ten leading causes of mortality in the United States, chronic, low-level inflammation contributes to the pathogenesis of at least seven. These include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and nephritis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011; Bastard et al. 2006; Cao 2011, Jha et al. 2009; Ferrucci et al. 2010; Glorieux et al. 2009; Kundu et al. 2008; Murphy 2012; Singh et al. 2011)." 
Incidentally, according to the Wikipedia entry, this is what is meant by "translational research":
"Translational research is scientific research that facilitates the translation of findings from basic science to practical applications that enhance human health and well-being. It is practiced in the medical, behavioral, and social sciences. In the field of medicine, for example, it is used to translate the findings in basic research more quickly and efficiently into medical practice and, thus, meaningful health outcomes."
So are the researchers using doublespeak to say that maybe they want to hang on to their mice models? Old habits die hard. So do the mice :-(

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