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Mouse model misleading for human inflammatory diseases

'It has to be wrong. I don't know why it is wrong, but it has to be wrong.' So said the reviewers of major journals such as Science and Nature, who were unable to find scientific errors, but nevertheless chose to reject a paper demonstrating profoundly different genomic and biochemical responses between mice models and human patients suffering from important inflammatory diseases. The New York Times stated earlier this week that, "For decades, mice have been the species of choice in the study of human diseases. But now, researchers report evidence that the mouse model has been totally misleading for at least three major killers -- sepsis, burns and trauma. As a result, years and billions of dollars have been wasted following false leads, they say. ... Sepsis, a potentially deadly reaction that occurs as the body tries to fight an infection, afflicts 750,000 patients a year in the United States, kills one-fourth to one-half of them, and costs the nation $17 billion a year. It is the leading cause of death in intensive-care units. ... [This study] helps explain why every one of nearly 150 drugs tested at a huge expense in patients with sepsis has failed. The drug tests all were based on studies in mice. And mice, it turns out, can have something that looks like sepsis in humans, but is very different from the condition in humans." This revolutionary new paper is at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/02/07/1222878110

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Andrew Knight DipECAWBM (WSEL), PhD, MRCVS, FOCAE

European Veterinary Specialist in Welfare Science, Ethics and Law

Fellow, Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

author: The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments, Palgrave Macillan 2011 (hardback), 2013 (paperback)

 http://www.andrewknight.info/animal_experiments_book.html

 www.AnimalExperiments.info www.AnimalConsultants.org

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