Weber State vaping experiments must end

I am very disappointed to learn that students in the neuroscience lab at Weber State University are conducting inhumane and scientifically questionable experiments on live mice in an attempt to study the addictive and detrimental effects of vaping on humans.

Current scientific studies are increasingly demonstrating that mice are inadequate models for studying human health, due to the vast differences in mice and human physiology.

These differences are particularly evident in neuroscience research.  A recent study in the prestigious journal Nature demonstrated that differences in the brains of mice and humans result in a tenfold difference in the synthesis of neurotransmitter receptors. [Nature. Sept 2019. PMID:31435019].  This can explain why hundreds of drugs that scientists believe cure mice of diseases like Alzheimer’s, depression and schizophrenia have failed to treat a single person.

Mouse studies are not only poor predictors of psychiatric disorders and drug treatments, they have been shown to predict human toxicity in only 43% of cases. [Curr Pathobiol Rep. 2015. PMID: 26246962]

This failure rate is so pronounced that in 2018 the U.S. National Toxicology Program in conjunction with 16 other federal agencies, released  a “Strategic Roadmap” recommending “new approaches to safety and risk assessment of chemicals and medical products that improve human relevance and replace or reduce the use of animals.” This builds upon the U.S. Government’s Tox21 program, started in 2008, that also aims to decrease reliance on animal testing.

Additionally, inhalation studies on animals are unreliable for studying human outcomes due to key differences in the anatomy and physiology of the respiratory tracts of humans and animals.  These differences greatly impact the deposition, clearance and retention of inhaled substances and resulting pathophysiology.

Given the demonstrated failure of animal studies to provide human relevant information, Weber State’s use of mice to study the effects of vaping in humans is cruel and incompatible with best scientific practices.

Accordingly, I respectfully request that Weber State end these unjustifiable experiments on mice. 

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