Of Mice and Medicine

/ by Josh Braun /

We've cured it in them, but can we cure it in us?

From the OCT/NOV 2005 issue of Seed:

(Aaron Logan)

Any health researcher will tell you that we know a lot about mice. Somewhere between 85 and 95 percent of all laboratory animals are rats or mice. We can cure their dread diseases and use them to grow human parts. There is a simple reason for their popularity: Mice are cheap and easily messed with.

With over 6,000 different strains of mutant mice now available from the NIH, announcements of medical breakthroughs in mice make headlines almost daily—so often you’d be forgiven for filtering them out altogether.

Although mice have proved an invaluable resource to human medicine, it bears repeating that, amid the hype, it’s a long road from mouse research to cures for humans—so much so, in fact that a look at the state of mouse research carries a touch of the surreal.

A few treatments, preventions and cures in mice:

Originally published September 30, 2005

Tags disease population research

Share this Stumbleupon Reddit Email + More


  • Ideas

    I Tried Almost Everything Else

    John Rinn, snowboarder, skateboarder, and “genomic origamist,” on why we should dumpster-dive in our genomes and the inspiration of a middle-distance runner.

  • Ideas

    Going, Going, Gone

    The second most common element in the universe is increasingly rare on Earth—except, for now, in America.

  • Ideas

    Earth-like Planets Aren’t Rare

    Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction.

The Seed Salon

Video: conversations with leading scientists and thinkers on fundamental issues and ideas at the edge of science and culture.

Are We Beyond the Two Cultures?

Video: Seed revisits the questions C.P. Snow raised about science and the humanities 50 years by asking six great thinkers, Where are we now?

Saved by Science

Audio slideshow: Justine Cooper's large-format photographs of the collections behind the walls of the American Museum of Natural History.

The Universe in 2009

In 2009, we are celebrating curiosity and creativity with a dynamic look at the very best ideas that give us reason for optimism.

Revolutionary Minds
The Interpreters

In this installment of Revolutionary Minds, five people who use the new tools of science to educate, illuminate, and engage.

The Seed Design Series

Leading scientists, designers, and architects on ideas like the personal genome, brain visualization, generative architecture, and collective design.

The Seed State of Science

Seed examines the radical changes within science itself by assessing the evolving role of scientists and the shifting dimensions of scientific practice.

A Place for Science

On the trail of the haunts, homes, and posts of knowledge, from the laboratory to the field.


Witness the science. Stunning photographic portfolios from the pages of Seed magazine.

SEEDMAGAZINE.COM by Seed Media Group. ©2005-2015 Seed Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Sites by Seed Media Group: Seed Media Group | ScienceBlogs | Research Blogging | SEEDMAGAZINE.COM