How do you build a mouse Utopia?
In 1972, John B. Calhoun
detailed the specifications of his Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory. . . . To its members, the mouse civilization of Universe 25 must have seemed prosperous indeed. But its downfall was already certain—not just stagnation, but total and inevitable destruction.
posted by saladin
on Aug 18, 2011 -
Less than two weeks after a controversial paper came to light advocating the pre-natal treatment of some female fetuses with a hormone to make their behavior more stereotypically female (previously discussed here
) comes news of actual animal research on causing the opposite inclination. By knocking out the fucose mutarotase gene, scientists in South Korea have apparently created "Lesbian mice" who prefer other female mice and who resist the attempts of male mice to mate with them. Article abstract
, and coverage by The Telegraph
posted by Asparagirl
on Jul 9, 2010 -
Hacking the Senses
: The brain is far more plastic than we commonly realize. Presenting new 'senses' via the old inputs works extremely well, to the point that long-term volunteers are a little lost without their new abilities to feel magnetic north or absolute orientation. Tasting direction; feeling pictures. Fascinating stuff. In a loosely related article, genetically modified mice
are able to see the full color range visible to humans, even though the last natural mouse able to see this way died out a hundred million years ago. Add the new sensors, and the brain reconfigures. [via]
posted by Malor
on Apr 5, 2007 -
I'm embarassed for my mice to have to say this but ... Their testicles are HUGE, like almost as big as their heads.
Good thing for humanity too, as mice testicles may provide a source of stem cells
free of the usual ethical considerations
.They may also hold the solutions to transplant rejection
. Is there anything those fuzzy globes can't do?
posted by hindmost
on Mar 28, 2006 -
Ebola is for wimps!
Some Australian scientists were trying to come up with a mouse contraceptive vaccine, for use in pest control. And they succeeded. Unfortunately, the virus they created works by killing mice before they can breed, and killing them very very well. Oh, and it's extremely vaccine-resistant: 100% death without vaccine, 50% with. And any kid with a Li'l Johnny Gene Engineering Kit could conceivably make a human version. Anyone got some smallpox virus laying around?
posted by aaron
on Jan 10, 2001 -