Lab mice can’t help us in the fight against cancer

Two articles linked below illustrate some interesting ideas about how we construct knowledge in the natural sciences. These cases raise a host of interesting issues. What assumptions do we hold when we try to learn about fighting human diseases by experimenting on mice? In what ways are these assumptions false? Is it ethical to run these experiments? Does the answer to that question depend on how effectively we learn from these experiments?

“Curing cancer in mice is unlikely to lead to a breakthrough for humans. So why do we persist in carrying out bizarre and freakish experiments?

“We are constantly being promised ground breaking advancements, cures, treatments and answers to this terrible and deadly disease that we have all lost someone to. It is, admittedly, beguiling speak and fulfils its purpose of justifying this kind of savage cruelty to animals.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/lab-mice-cant-help-us-in-the-fight-against-cancer-8316756.html

Retire the Use of Mouse Models in cancer studies

“We cured acute leukemia in mice in 1977 with drugs that we are still using in exactly the same dose and duration today in humans with dreadful results.”

http://edge.org/response-detail/25429


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