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Humans Are Not Just Big Mice: Current Anatomical Predictions for Muscle Are Wrong

From CAARE Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research
June 2023

A recent study on anatomical predictions of muscle measurements based on experiments in mice showed that these are incorrect and can adversely impact surgical procedures on humans.

lab Mouse

A prevailing myth is that even if animal experiments are problematic at the cellular or genetic level, we can learn something from them using the basic biomechanics of physiology. But this also has proven false. A recent study on anatomical predictions of muscle measurements based on experiments in mice showed that these are incorrect and can adversely impact surgical procedures on humans.

New research from the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab further confirms that animals are poor models for studying humans and reaffirms the need to replace animal testing with superior, human-relevant alternatives.

The discovery that human muscle measurements are inaccurate happened when scientists transplanted a human patientís gracilis (leg) muscle into the arm following an injury during which they measured the muscle properties and scaling predictions.

Using information from previous animal studies, scientists had estimated the measurement of human muscle contractile properties based on those of mice, but by studying actual human muscles they found significant differences that have important implications for surgical procedures and research.

CAARE


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