Studies of inflammatory diseases in mice have been misleading researchers for years, according to a new study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed data obtained from human patients who had suffered severe blunt trauma, burns, and sepsis (the body’s severe response to infection) and other inflammatory diseases. They found that the way in which humans respond to inflammation is “not reproduced in the current mouse models.” This could explain why more than 150 drugs that were tested in mice failed in patients with sepsis.
A new report in Current Biology shows that chimpanzees in eastern Africa may use sticks as dolls. Chimpanzees from the Kanyawara community in Uganda carry sticks around in a way similar to the way that children use dolls as human surrogates, taking them from tree to tree, patting and embracing them, and even putting them to bed.
A test method derived from cultured human skin cells is more accurate than animal tests at identifying skin irritants, according to a new report from MatTek, Inc., a Massachusetts company that develops alternatives to animal tests.