A simulated mouse will allow researchers to study type 1 diabetes. This is purely a computer simulation [i>(in silico)[/i> of the “non-obese diabetic mouse (NOD)”. The company claims that “While animal model systems can provide insights into the pathophysiology of a disease, they fall short in helping researchers predict human response to therapy. The Type 1 Diabetes PhysioLab platform provides an innovative way to “translate” what is observed in these animal models to human response”.
The mouse has been developed jointly by Entelos Inc and the American Diabetes Association. Entelos claims that it supplies simulation systems for Diabetes, Obesity, Adipocyte, Asthma and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Medical mouse website Methuselah Mouse Prize, which campaigns for research (using mice) into the causes of longevity, welcomes the simulation because “this is the first step on the road towards vastly decreasing the time and cost of biotechnology development – not to mention making it a great deal more ethical.”
I suppose that concerns about the reality of the simulation and the validity of the lessons learned are balanced by concerns about the validity of testing medical procedures for humans on a different species.