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> Why Mice?
catseye
post Mar 30, 2009, 04:55 AM
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I've wondered about this for years. In looking around at some publications to read through, the thought occurred to me again. Why do scientist use mice to understand or correlate the functions of the human brain?
Why not pigs, or lower primates? What is it about a mouses brain that gives researchers answers to human questions?
Couldn't find anything in google either.
Thanks
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post Mar 30, 2009, 05:15 AM
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Lab accomodations, availability, size, and most importantly: closely related to the species responsible for mammal survival and proliferation after the demise of the dinasours. The animal specie most closely related to our level of evolution that we can trace the farthest back in time, therefore. Pesky little survivors that they are, just like us... My guess, though.
...And to give cats something to entertaine themselves with! ;-) wink.gif
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Jourdan
post Mar 30, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Probably convinience and similarity (in the basic CNS plan). I'm sure there would be a social explanation that would be suffice too, into how rats and mice became "tradition".
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Hey Hey
post Mar 30, 2009, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE(catseye @ Mar 30, 2009, 01:55 PM) *

I've wondered about this for years. In looking around at some publications to read through, the thought occurred to me again. Why do scientist use mice to understand or correlate the functions of the human brain?
Why not pigs, or lower primates? What is it about a mouses brain that gives researchers answers to human questions?
Couldn't find anything in google either.
Thanks
I googled 'why do scientists use mice in experiments' and amongst other hits found:

http://hybrid-vigor.blogspot.com/2006/11/q...e-mice-for.html

I can also add that mice are very cheap and (partly related to this) can be used in their hundreds/thousands in experiments and trials, so replication of data is convenient. Replication is important, especially in biological experiments, as diversity of individuals (not so much an issue in lines of clones maintained under the same conditions) can produce a spread in results that hinders interpretation and validity. That's why, for example, a particular drug will produce a given side-effect in an individual and not in another of the same species.

Have you heard of the Steinbeck book and the quote, "Of Mice and Men?" There is a reason for those words.
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catseye
post Mar 30, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the responses so far ! Jourdan, too funny…I love pinky and the brain!

Thanks for the website, it’s amazing how one word creates a hit or miss - in life and in google…
I grew up in a boondock area of the south, so anything beyond the basics of education was for the self taught. There wasn’t even a library close to home until a few years after I graduated. I varied my interest to what my young heart desired and reading “Of Mice and Men” was not at the top of the list.
But, I tell ya what, I’ll go to the library this week ( as I prefer a physical book to online) and rent out “Of Mice and Men” and read it.








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First, no matter what you must say to someone be sure to speak with only good intentions, and second, remember that every person you meet is a reflection of yourself. Hence why listening to the first can be of vital importance.” -me
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Rick
post Mar 30, 2009, 01:17 PM
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After reading Of Mice and Men, also read Steinbeck's Cannery Row. John Steinbeck was from my home town, and he sure could write.

Mice have the research benefit of having a mamalian brain (neocortex) in a tiny space. They breed rather quickly too.
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Hey Hey
post Mar 30, 2009, 01:18 PM
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QUOTE(catseye @ Mar 30, 2009, 10:13 PM) *

Thanks for the responses so far ! Jourdan, too funny…I love pinky and the brain!

Thanks for the website, it’s amazing how one word creates a hit or miss - in life and in google…
I grew up in a boondock area of the south, so anything beyond the basics of education was for the self taught. There wasn’t even a library close to home until a few years after I graduated. I varied my interest to what my young heart desired and reading “Of Mice and Men” was not at the top of the list.
But, I tell ya what, I’ll go to the library this week ( as I prefer a physical book to online) and rent out “Of Mice and Men” and read it.
Nothing wrong with your question, and many scientists still use mice when sometimes they are absolutely inappropriate - horses (! LOL) for courses. But we all have to put effort into searching, as there is no golden rule with the crap tools we have (google included). One day ....
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dendrite
post Mar 30, 2009, 03:22 PM
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It's going to get worse (or better?). Mice are ideally suited for creating TRANSGENIC animals. Thus the proliferation of "knock-out" or "knock-in" mice. These days there is a genetically modified mouse for nearly every disease. Not easily done with rats and almost impossible with the rest.
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post Mar 30, 2009, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE(dendrite @ Mar 30, 2009, 03:22 PM) *

It's going to get worse (or better?). Mice are ideally suited for creating TRANSGENIC animals. Thus the proliferation of "knock-out" or "knock-in" mice. These days there is a genetically modified mouse for nearly every disease. Not easily done with rats and almost impossible with the rest.

TRANSGENIC mice are old hat in some experimental labs already! This video shows two of them in a quite dangerous experiment that proved how far we've gone in that regard! (They claim that no animal was harmed in this experiment, so I take their word at face value):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXxevlkhHso
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hlming
post Apr 21, 2010, 09:05 AM
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May be the similarity,simplicity,and ethical permissibility
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