I finally got to use the hashtag “InMice” on Twitter. What’s it mean?
“Mice form the basis of all biomedical research. As the quintessential model organism, they are perfect specimens in which to study all sorts of human conditions. But just because a drug performs well in mice, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll have the same result in humans. Science journalists and press releases — as translators of these findings — often fail to clearly demarcate that line.
A new Twitter account hopes to make that line much clearer. Last Friday, tweets from @justsaysinmice started making the rounds on Twitter and they quickly went viral. Every tweet — all 11 of them so far — follows the same pattern: A news story or press release with a sensational headline is tweeted out, with two simple words tacked on top: “IN MICE.””
The story that caught my eye was on orange juice, partly because of a playful ongoing argument with a friend who is quick to remind me and others that OJ is the nutritional equivalent of coke. Not evil, but not exactly health food.
But this story suggested we’d been missing out.
“A new study from London’s Western University suggests drinking two-and-a-half glasses of orange juice a day could help prevent heart disease and diabetes. Researchers have found a molecule, called nobiletin, in sweet oranges and tangerines that significantly reduces obesity and can reverse its negative side-effects.“Obesity and its resulting metabolic syndromes are a huge burden to our health care system, and we have very few interventions that have been shown to work effectively,” said Murray Huff, PhD professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry in a statement.”
Hmm. But read on and the results were only shown in mice.
So I tweeted.
Medical researcher and occasional guest blogger Dr. Savita weighed in.
Sounds like unless you want 20g of sugar and you just want the health benefits, if the results work out in humans and not just #inmice, there are better ways to get it.