Over the last century, 95% of all medical experiments have been done on lab mice. But are they the perfect laboratory stand-in for humans? Some recent studies may suggest otherwise.
Of mice, not men
“For more than a century, the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) has stood in for humans in experiments ranging from deciphering disease and brain function to explaining social behaviors and the nature of obesity.”
New comprehensive view of the mouse genome finds many similarities and striking differences with human genome
“Looking across evolutionary time and the genomic landscapes of humans and mice, an international group of researchers has found powerful clues to why certain processes and systems in the mouse – such as the immune system, metabolism and stress response – are so different from those in people.”
Mus musculus (house mouse)
“The mouse is one of the major organisms for modeling human disease and comparative genome analysis.”
What are some backgrounds that scientists use mice for?
“Mice are used in a wide variety of scientific projects. Mice breed very quickly,so scientists often use mice to study questions about genetics.”
Why Do Medical Researchers Use Mice?
“From formulating new cancer drugs to testing dietary supplements, mice and rats play a critical role in developing new medical wonders.”
Advantages of the mouse as a model organism
“Among the many advantages to using the mouse as a model organism, the most important is their striking similarity to humans in anatomy, physiology, and genetics.”
The Mouse Trap
“Mark Mattson knows a lot about mice and rats. He’s fed them; he’s bred them; he’s cut their heads open with a scalpel.”
A comparative encyclopedia of DNA elements in the mouse genome
“The laboratory mouse shares the majority of its protein- coding genes with humans, making it the premier model organism in biomedical research, yet the two mammals differ in significant ways.”
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