Nature News reports that the lack of female research participants — from basic research in animals to clinical trials with human patients — has significant consequences, such as, "for example, when drug candidates fail to get regulatory approval because they don’t work in women in late-stage clinical trials." Nature notes that researchers tend to prefer the use of male lab animals to limit the potential for the variability of female animals’ estrous cycles, and that the ratio of male- to female-only studies in basic neuroscience is 5.5 to 1. According to Nature, investigators in attendance at the Workshop on Sex Differences and Implications for Translational Neuroscience Research, suggested that journals require authors to report the sex of the animals used in their research and that funding agencies should ask grant applicants to disclose the sex of the animals they propose to study, "and justify their decision whenever they chose only male animals."
Of Mice and Women
Mar 17, 2010