At least this one didn’t. A recent collaborative effort at the Stanford Genome Technology Center has concluded that mouse models do not provide good correlative information about human inflammatory illness. In fact, the relationship of the mouse data to the human data was concluded to be “close to random” in some aspects of the study. Close to random – sounds like the kind of results one could get from a coin toss. It’s also worth noting that, regarding human inflammatory diseases, or even diseases in general, we know the causes of most of them. Many of them, whether through a genetic or environmental etiology, can be alleviated or exacerbated by lifestyle. Many of the terrible diseases causing us pain and crippling our elderly do not need more mouse (or for that matter, human) studies. We need aggressive education into the lifestyle choices that can help or hurt our afflictions, so that even the illnesses that need medical treatment can benefit from our participation in our own wellness. And then we can leave the poor mice alone. Torturing them isn’t doing us any good, anyway, even if it was an ethical thing to do.

photo by Martha Sexton via

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