Tag Archives | Mice

Human Cells Added To Their Brains Make Mice Smarter

human cells

Once someone lets them loose into a sewer and they breed freely, we’re in trouble. Scientific American writes:

In spring a band of brainy rodents made headlines for zipping through mazes with savvy navigation and mastering memory tricks. Scientists credited the impressive intellectual feats to human cells transplanted into their brains shortly after birth.

The mice benefited from human stem cells called glial progenitors, immature cells poised to become astrocytes and other glia cells, the supposed support cells of the brain.

Studies since then have revealed how extensively astrocytes interact with neurons, even coordinating their activity in some cases.

Our astrocytes are enormous compared with the astrocytes of other animals—20 times larger than rodent astrocytes—and they make contact with millions of neurons apiece. Neurons, on the other hand, are nearly identical in all mammals, from rodents to great apes like us. Such clues suggest astrocytes could be evolutionary contributors to our outsized intellect.

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Inside the Mutant Mouse Industry That Supplies Science Laboratories

White mice don’t grow on trees. At least, for now.

Pic: RAMA (CC)

Pic: RAMA (CC)

Via New Scientist:

It’s often said that in a city, you’re never far from a rat. Today’s UK government figures for the numbers of laboratory animals used annually in England, Scotland and Wales reveals the extent to which researchers, too, are surrounded by rats and other rodents. In all 4 million animals were used, a 9 per cent increase on 2011. Most of these – 3.3 million – were rodents. Some 2200 primates were used, mainly in pharmaceutical safety tests.

The majority of the rodents – 1.77 million mice – were mutant, “knockout” mice: animals with a specific gene turned off, helping scientists to understand what that gene does. “It’s a bit like trying to understand a car engine without a plan – piece by piece you pull parts out and then see how this contributes to the car not working,” says David Adams of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK.

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Scientists Create Genital-Gnawing Mice

Via WeirdUniverse.net:
With just a few genetic tweaks, Swedish scientists have created female mice that bite their mates’ junk. Cheese balls, anyone?

The Associated Press reports:

UPPER DARBY, Pa. – A pizzeria owner with mice problems he blamed on competitors tried to sabotage two rival shops by dumping mice in them Monday, authorities in suburban Philadelphia said…

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