Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Efficient genetic Engineering:

This week's NYT Science Times is chock full of medical studies done on mice that might, just might, affect humans. Exhibit one are studies that do or maybe don't suggest how we can prolong our lives.

The rub is that it's terribly unclear how medicines and treatments that affect lab mice will affect humans. This has been a devilish issue for years, and I want to suggest how to solve this problem.

Our geneticists should devote most of their efforts to figuring out how to genetically engineer us humans so that we will be more like mice. That will greatly improve the odds that medicines helping mice will be good for us as well. And think of the side benefits, such as being able to squeeze through narrow doors.

2 comments:

Ender said...

The problem isn't really with connecting the dots between mouse studies and human results; it's that the non-scientific media quickly latch onto early animal studies and extrapolate them with little justification. Classically, early results will present an observed phenomenon - a detailed understanding of its mechanism (and thus its potential applicability to humans) is frequently years in the future. *shrugs* It doesn't really matter; most of the time the mass media don't even report the phenomenon correctly.

The Precision Blogger said...

Ender, you complain that: "the non-scientific media quickly latch onto early animal studies and extrapolate them with little justification."
That's exactly the problem I'm trying to solve! If we make people more like mice, then there will be more justification for the media to jump on these studies.
- PB