In a novel use of stem cells, scientists at Rockefeller University and The Scripps Research Institute have created what they are referring to as a ‘humanized mouse’, which responds to diseases as a human would. The creation of mice that react to disease and potential treatments the way humans would will significantly reduce the cost, and speed the process, of developing treatments for a wide variety of disease. “We believe this will improve drug discovery because the reactions we observed were authentic human reactions,” says Dr. Harris Perlman of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Some of the diseases researchers are using these modified mice to develop treatments for are Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – an affliction that affects 70 million people (worldwide) and the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) which affects 130 million people worldwide.
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