The Many Successes in Mice that Fail to Translate to Human Medicine

There are many failures on the path from early study in cells to successful medical technology applied to humans. A success in cell cultures often turns out to be infeasible in animals, as cells in culture are not a part of a larger tissue and organism and thus not subject to the same signals, stresses, and influences. Work in organoids, tiny sections of living tissue, can certainly help to bridge this gap, but even an organoid that accurately reflects the structure and function of an organ is still not subject to the real ebb and flow of a living animal, all of the interactions with other tissues and systems.


Success in animal studies, usually carried out in mice, can fail in larger mammals for any number of reasons. While there are many similarities between mammals, there are just as many differences. The popular science article below focuses on the biochemical differences between species as a reason for the leap between mice and humans to fail so often. I think it overemphasizes the point, and fails to offer viable suggestions for an alternative. In the field of aging, I’d have to say that there are two important factors for a high failure

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