Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

21 July 2006

Making science palatable

With their use of complex terminology and potential benefit to human health, scientists always seem to manage to make vivisection sound "okay".

Here's a snippet from Nature (oh the irony in that name), where the scientists (names removed to protect me) describe their "research protocol" when implanting human tissue into a mouse. Note: they don't even bother to call it a mouse experiment, they refer to a mouse model, taking away its individuality, making it an object to be studied, instead of a fellow subject to be respected.

Quote starts:

"Nature Protocols 1, - 206 - 214 (2006)
Subject Category:
Cell and tissue culture | Utilizing model organisms
Reconstruction of human mammary tissues in a mouse model

a model system that more accurately recapitulates both normal and neoplastic breast epithelial development in rodents is central to studying human breast carcinogenesis. However, the inability of human breast epithelial cells to colonize mouse mammary fat pads is problematic. Considering that the human breast is a more fibrous tissue than is the adipose-rich stroma of the murine mammary gland, our group sought to bypass the effects of the rodent microenvironment through incorporation of human stromal fibroblasts. We have been successful in reproducibly recreating functionally normal breast tissues from reduction mammoplasty tissues, in what we term the human-in-mouse (HIM) model. Here we describe our relatively simple and inexpensive techniques for generating this orthotopic xenograft model. Whether the model is to be applied for understanding normal human breast development or tumorigenesis, investigators with minimal animal surgery skills, basic cell culture techniques and access to human breast tissue will be able to generate humanized mouse glands within 3 months. Clearing the mouse of its endogenous epithelium with subsequent stromal humanization takes 1 month. The subsequent implantation of co-mixed human epithelial cells and stromal cells occurs 2 weeks after humanization, so investigators should expect to observe the desired outgrowths 2 months afterward. As a whole, this model system has the potential to improve the understanding of crosstalk between tissue stroma and the epithelium as well as factors involved in breast stem cell biology tumor initiation and progression.

quote ends


I mean just listen to them. Using all these silly words they've created for their exclusive domain and their excuse is the potential promise of treating breast cancer.

Take one line for example:
"Here we describe our relatively simple and inexpensive techniques for generating this orthotopic xenograft model."

What they're actually saying could be:
Hey everyone it's really easy to create a human-mouse chimera.

Here's another:
"[I]nvestigators with minimal animal surgery skills, basic cell culture techniques and access to human breast tissue will be able to generate humanized mouse glands within 3 months."

What they could be saying is:
Hey, any old fool can slice into a mouse without killing it. You only need basic animal surgery skills (ie lower level required than human surgery skills), some human breast tissue and voila, you too can create these chimeras in just 3 months.

Sounds like one of those tv marketing ads ... "and that's not all, now you too can create a chimera in your garage".

god forgive us for what we are doing to the animals ...

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