But how can experimenting on a mouse lead to cures for humans?
Oxford University claim:
Mice share over 90 per cent of their genes with humans. Most of their basic chemistry, cell structure and bodily organisation are the same as ours. In those areas where animals do differ from humans, this is often helpful in understanding more about the function of genes and the basis of disease.
Since animals share many similar diseases with humans, research on animals has helped animals to live longer and healthier lives as well. More than half the drugs used by vets were developed for human medicine.
Mice and humans are separated by over 70 million years of evolution. That means our bodies react in very different ways to the same chemical. Mice and humans share nearly 97% of their DNA – but how significant is that in terms of medical research? Vioxx tested safe in mice, but is now known to have caused tens of thousands of severe adverse drug reactions, including deaths. Chimpanzees and humans share even more of their DNA (98%) than mice. And yet the chimpanzee is immune to AIDS, hepatitis B and common malaria – three diseases that kill millions of people worldwide every year. So much for the similarities between people and animals…