Just when you think you know everything there is to know about a model you run tests on, out comes some whippersnapper to upset the scientific apple cart. It makes you wonder how this could have gone on for so long, but as the article says, the researchers became “ingrained” to a certain way of doing research, which I think is also a problem with climate science. – Anthony
Tests in Mice Misled Researchers on 3 Diseases, Study Says
By GINA KOLATA, NYT
For decades, mice have been the species of choice in the study of human diseases. But now, researchers report stunning 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.
The study does not mean that mice are useless models for all human diseases. But, its authors said, it does raise troubling questions about diseases like the ones in the study that involve the immune system, including cancer and heart disease.
“Our article raises at least the possibility that a parallel situation may be present,” said Dr. H. Shaw Warren, a sepsis researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and a lead author of the new study.
The paper, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, helps explain why every one of nearly 150 drugs tested at huge expense in patients with sepsis has failed. The drug tests all were based on studies in mice. And mice, it turns out, have a disease that looks like sepsis in humans, but is very different from the human disease.
“They were so used to doing mouse studies that they thought that was how you validate things,” he said. “They are so ingrained in trying to cure mice that they forget we are trying to cure humans.”
“That started us thinking,” he continued. “Is it the same in the mouse or not?”
The group decided to look, expecting to find some similarities. But when the data were analyzed, there were none at all.
“We were kind of blown away,” Dr. Davis said.
Full story here
h/t to Indur Goklany