As I sit each morning over my toast and marmalade appraising the latest edition of The Times propped up against the teapot – the warming scent of lapsang souchong drifting through the air – my eye is often drawn to the latest medical developments in the wild world of diabetes research.
In general I think diabetes research is great. After all, if our old friend Fred Banting hadn’t had an interest in isolating insulin back in 1922 the readership (and, indeed, authorship) of this blog would be considerably lower than it is now.
However, I do think there is a considerable bias in diabetes research – not towards type one or type two or anything like that. No, there’s huge favouritism in terms of time, effort and funding towards researching a cure for diabetic mice.
Every single day there are reports some new breakthrough that gives a new lease of life to those rodenty balls of fluff. Take for example the following I found via Google News merely seconds ago:
Compound blocks diabetes 1 progress in mice & human cells
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found a molecule that can prevent the development of type 1 diabetes in mice
Barbara Davis Center researcher reveals treatment for type 1 diabetes preventing the disease in mice
Aaron Michels was ecstatic when, a few months ago, he found that a drug-like molecule could prevent the development of type 1 diabetes in mice.
Rooibos shows promise in curbing diabetes
Japanese scientists found that rooibos helps improve the glucose uptake of muscle cells, thereby maintaining normal blood sugar levels in diabetic mice
Diabetes in Lab Mice Reversed with Natural Compound
A team of researchers in the United States reported recently that it was able to cure Type 2 diabetes in mice.
And there were plenty more where they came from!
Looking through these and other stories it’s clear that researchers have a fixation with treating our diabetic cheese-eating fiends. I wonder why? It’s not as if anyone really likes mice is it? A few years ago my old flat had a mouse and I spent weeks trying my best to kill it (I eventually succeeded, but it got its revenge by dying behind the fridge where I couldn’t get to it – filling the flat with the fetid smell of slowly decomposing mouse. Clearly it had the last laugh). No one cares about the rising type two epidemic in obese mice and no one campaigns for tiny ickle insulin pumps for rodents either.
So come on boffins – pull your fingers out, stop curing mice and start curing humans!