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sábado, 28 de julho de 2012

The mice you've always dreamed of

You probably knows that a large number of research in medical area is related somehow with tests in mice. What maybe you don't know is that there is a world of the mice for testing, that is so specialized with traces of behavior and biological tendencies so developed that the options you find when buying a mice for test reminds me a sci-fi movie where the aliens are us.

The research using mice is so well developed and spread not only because they reproduce fast, are small and easy to handle, but because they have a genetic similarity with humans of 95%, and yes, it perhaps also explains why that person that you certainly knows have that mouse-like-face.

Jackson Laboratory, in USA, is one of those labs specialized in delivering the mice you've always dreamed of. At their website you can order, as an example a mid aged mouse, fat and who suffers from... ahn, let's say... schizophrenia? Yes, no problem, there you go, they can provide you one of those!

Well I've to admit that I didn't knew mice could have schizophrenia. In fact I can't stop to imagine how would it be to have as a pet a schizophrenic mouse.

The lab offers around 6 thousand types of mice, and if you found as impressive as I did the fact that mouse may have schizophrenia, you might like to know the Jackson lab also offers mice with autism, breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, dwarfism, diabetes, down syndrome, multiple scleroses, myopia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (yes, imagine one of those), osteoporosis, Parkinson and many more. Most of them I never heard before.

Of those that I never heard before, Google told me about one related to immunity to pain, just to give you one idea of how broad the possibilities are. At the links there is a page where you can check all the researchable diseases.

Other thing that got my attention was a little disclaimer in case you are willing to buy baby mice, it says "Please note: Mice 17 days old or younger are shipped with lactating females and are not guaranteed to survive shipment.", which sounded weird and like a sic-fi movie about aliens. No?

Oh, and since we talked about babies and mothers, at this point I believe you already have some idea, but just to give you certainty, there is also possibilities to order pregnant mice, with a specific time of pregnancy and with special genetic characteristics.

Well, knowing it all probably won't save your life, but next time you need to take a medicine, remember that probably somewhere out there in this world, there is a little mouse with a disease that is almost like yours.

--- Links
Jackson Laboratory
List of diseases that can be studied using mice from Jackson Laboratory