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Debate rages over mouse studies’ relevance to humans

Last year, researchers concluded rodents are not good mimics of human inflammation; new study says the reverse

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3:56pm, August 5, 2014

In direct conflict with a controversial 2013 study, researchers say that mice may be better mimics of human inflammation than previously suggested.

The earlier study found that inflammation brought on by burns, sepsis and trauma changed gene activity very differently in mice and humans (SN: 3/23/13, p.10). But two scientists have now reanalyzed data from that study using different statistical methods. Mice and humans actually have very similar gene activity changes, the researchers report August 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In addition to using distinct statistical methods, the two teams analyzed different subsets of data. Each group accuses the other of bias in their data choices.

The original study’s conclusion jeopardized funding for studies that use mice as human stand-ins, says Klaus Schughart, a geneticist and

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