Column: Misleading animal testing past, human cell testing in future


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New research on animal testing turns on its head the logic that has made mice the most popular species for studying drugs developed to treat human diseases.

Mouse studies have been totally misleading when it comes to understanding at least three major human killers — sepsis, burns and trauma — a paper published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals.

“As a result, years and billions of dollars have been wasted following false leads,” New York Times reporter Gina Kolata wrote this week. She added the paper also “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, can have something that looks like sepsis in humans, but is very different from the condition in humans.”

Cynics may say, “So what? What does it matter if we destroy a bunch of mice, seen as pests by many humans?”

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