From the OCT/NOV 2005 issue of Seed:
Any health researcher will tell you that we know a lot about mice. Somewhere between 85 and 95 percent of all laboratory animals are rats or mice. We can cure their dread diseases and use them to grow human parts. There is a simple reason for their popularity: Mice are cheap and easily messed with.
With over 6,000 different strains of mutant mice now available from the NIH, announcements of medical breakthroughs in mice make headlines almost daily—so often you’d be forgiven for filtering them out altogether.
Although mice have proved an invaluable resource to human medicine, it bears repeating that, amid the hype, it’s a long road from mouse research to cures for humans—so much so, in fact that a look at the state of mouse research carries a touch of the surreal.
A few treatments, preventions and cures in mice:
- Heart Attack, damage reversible 1996
- Cancer, cured 1997
- Baldness, cured 1998
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, incubation prolonged indefinitely 1999
- Sickle Cell Disease, cured 2001
- Blindness from Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, symptoms reversed 2002
- Type 1 Diabetes, cured 2003
- Parkinson’s Disease, cured 2003
- Multiple Sclerosis, symptoms reversed 2003
- Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Disease, progression halted 2004
- Phenylketonuria (PKU), cured 2005
- Hemophilia Type B, symptoms reversed 2005
- West Nile Virus, cured 2005
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), cured 2005
- Diabetic Blindness, prevented 2005
Originally published September 30, 2005