I think the question posed by John Budney is an interesting one. I work on
peroxisome proliferation, which is essentially a rodent phenomenon. Although
it is interesting in itself, the driving force for this research is the
correlation between peroxisome proliferation and hepatocarcinogenicity in
rodents and the potential risk to humans. Peroxisome proliferators include
plasticizers, hypolipidemics and some NSAIDS, things the average person will
encounter. However, humans do not respond to these peroxisome proliferators
the way rodents do. So can we really draw any conclusions from rodent work
about human risk?
Having said that, I do believe that knowledge gained from animal models can be
applied to the human situation if we keep in mind the differences.