Just like Dr. Evil from Austin Powers, you too can have your own
A team of Australian researchers were working on a patient with pancreatic cancer, trying to find a treatment for him. They took a piece of the man’s tumor tissue and put it in a mouse whose immune system they had suppressed. On this mouse they tested a drug that had been approved by gene screening but would have been risky to try out on a human patient. Instead of risking further harm to the patient, the researchers tested the drug on the mouse and found that the tumor shrank in the mice that had been treated. This was a huge breakthrough.
The only scientific problem with this discovery is that it sometimes could take too long to create the “avatar” mouse, treat it, analyze the results, and treat the patient. The man studied by the Australians died before treatment could be administered. The obvious social problem with this breakthrough is the attitude of animal rights activists. Animal testing is a very controversial subject and it is very likely that several groups will be against it.
Whether this mouse avatar future actually does come about or not, it is interesting to think about walking into the hospital or your doctor’s office and instead of worrying about which treatment is most likely to succeed, your doctor will simply order a mouse avatar for you. Then the only step is to go home and wait for the test results as with any other health screening.
Posted By Erica Bonnell(1)