Friday, March 8, 2013

Test Mice Disorders

The first clay animal I made was a lab rat.

I recently read an excerpt from a book by Hal Herzog, who wrote a chapter about the ethics of animal testing. He poses many philosophical and ethical questions about the use of mice in experiments. I was amazed how scientists can specially order mice with almost any disorder they wish. Mice are used because they have roughly the same number of genes as humans with about 25,000 and 99.5% of the genes have a known human counterpart.

Here is a list of the mice to disorders someone can order:

Hundreds of strains are afflicted with rare cancers, others are prone to facial deformities, and some are born with malfunctioning immune systems. There are mouse models for defects of vision, hearing, taste and balance. Jax mice come with high blood pressure, low blood pressure, sleep apnea, and Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Researches trying to cure infertility have their pick of eighty-eight strains of Jax mice with defective reproductive organs. Then there are the mice that just don’t fit in – the obsessive-compulsive, the chronically depressed, the addiction-prone, hyperactive, and schizophrenic mice. 

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