quarta-feira, 31 de março de 2010

Of mice and men, in immunology

George dosReis chama a atenção para o texto da Science de 26 de março: Immunology Uncaged (doi: 10.1126/science.327.5973.1573), que comenta sobre os problemas resultantes da imunologia ser fortemente baseada em estudos em camundongos e da dificuldade de transpor os resultados para o homem:
“An immunologist argues that to move beyond mice and galvanize clinical research, his field needs its own version of the Human Genome Project. … Davis says: "Hundreds of clinical trials have been based on curing mice, but almost none led to clinical treatments." ..."Studies on mice are very elegant and beautiful, but they aren't reflecting the needs of the [human] population," says Jacques Banchereau, head of the Baylor Institute for Immunological Research in Dallas, Texas.
Assim, a proposta é um grande projeto para imunologia humana:
“… call for immunology to go big science in a very human way. If enough labs combine efforts to analyze the thousands of blood samples drawn in the United States or around the world every day, a so-called Human Immunology Project could quickly amass and scrutinize data from large numbers of healthy and sick people, Davis says. Within 5 to 10 years, he predicts, "we could have the first crude benchmarks of immune function." Davis doesn't know what these benchmarks will be—perhaps the levels of particular cytokines or the abundances of certain types of T cells—but he says researchers will probably settle on five or six variables that reflect overall immune status in people, the equivalents of LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.”

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