CAMLAW: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Law Blog

Mice Teach Us Companion to MS Gene Helps

A companion gene to the MS gene helps mitigate the effects of MS, according to new research.

A Danish-UK team reported in the journal Nature that a gene known as DR2a tempers the effects of the risk gene for MS and reduces the severity of MS symptoms.

Mice with the twin gene were less likely to get MS than those without, and if they developed MS, had a milder form of the disease.

I'm glad the mice have something to teach us, but I'm not fond of research on animals, since although justified on utilitarian terms, the practice assumes a kind of "species superiority." It sounds like the Danish-UK persons were merely interviewing the mice, so to speak, rather than actually given them diseases to see which ones could be cured. That would be a bit more respectful, from the perspective of species of equality. Of course in the West we are taught that 'man was given dominion of the animals,' thus implicitly justifying animal experimentation with a divine mandate.

Suffice it to say, the discovery of the twin gene will be helpful for those suffering from MS.

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