The mouse will become the weapon against a large number of ailments affecting the human species ? This is the objective sought by researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo, using these little rodents to produce human cells galore, reports CNN.
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To test drugs, study of the mechanisms of infectious disease, to produce healthy tissue, biologists need to human cells in large quantities. However, until now, no one knew how to produce them from stem cells. The problem is that the production of these is slow. The team of Buffalo has developed a method that greatly accelerates the production of human cells mature in-vivo. This requests the collaboration of these brave mouse always ready to slip a hand. The research was published may 13 in the journal Science Advance.
"Of such mice would be very useful to study the Covid-19"
The scientists prove thus, in this study, conducted at the Rosewell Park Institute of Cancer, that it is much easier to generate human cells in mouse embryos and in human embryos. As highlighted Jian Feng, one of the authors of the study, the use of the mouse as a surrogate of human cells opens up exciting prospects for treating human diseases.
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In the future, the mouse may also be used to develop human immune cells or cells of the respiratory tract. "Such chimeric mice would be very useful to study the Covid-19, which severely affects the man, but barely affects the mouse," said Jian Feng. "Another example might be the malaria in which the pathogen infects specifically human red blood cells by a mosquito bite. If we can produce a mouse with more red blood cells in humans, this would be a very good model to study malaria. "
What about animal protection ?
scientists remain divided as to the genetic modification of mice. If all noted the utility of these genetically modified animals in medical research, some point to the dangers of this type of experience. "The possibilities related to this study can arouse the enthusiasm of many researchers. But they also raise serious ethical questions concerning the moral status of these animals partially human, " wrote Lori Marino, a neuroscientist and advocate of the animals, in an editorial of Stat News in 2017. "By the time the first aircraft was designed, the possibilities for the future existed only in the minds of a few people," said Feng. "If the company had decided that the idea of flying was horrible, we would have missed a lot of things that later prove to be wonderful for everybody," responds the scientist to close the debate.