I read about research findings in mice that don’t work in humans. What is being done to improve the medical yield from mouse-based research?

Each year thousands of scientific papers are published on findings using laboratory mice, the premier model for biomedical researchers around the world. However, not all research findings in mice have been proven to be applicable in humans, most likely due to failures in setting up the experiments.

For example, in 2013 a group of researchers challenged the usefulness of mice in understanding inflammatory responses. (Scientists challenge each other frequently, and this is an important way for research to advance.) As it turns out, the study in question used only one inbred strain of mouse, whereas comparing several strains could have yielded useful data about genetic factors associated with inflammatory responses.

The Jackson Laboratory is working to improve experimental standards for animal-based research. This includes developing new kinds of mouse models and mouse populations, and verifying the genetic makeup of mice used in experiments. New technology is helping to make the mouse an even better research model for human disease.