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February 2013

Evolution and Animal Models

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Neuroscience and Pathology, San Diego, and Neurosciences, La Jolla (Dr Hansen), University of California; and Americans For Medical Advancement, Goleta (Dr Greek), California.

JAMA Neurol. 2013;70(2):271-272. doi:10.1001/2013.jamaneurol.458

Carlson1 is not the first to address the role of animal models in basic research pertaining to advances in clinical medicine or the importance of evolutionary biology and comparative research. However, others have disagreed with his conclusions. For example, Crowley2 pointed out that of 25 000 basic research articles published in the top 6–ranked journals for basic research, only 1 was associated with a clinically useful new drug in 30 years of publication. The institutionalization of the importance of basic research dates back to the Comroe-Dripps report,3 but recently, Grant et al4,5 established that the Comroe-Dripps report was so flawed that the conclusions are not defensible.

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