SITE VISIT: Get Your Mouse Fix Here

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Science  12 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5404, pp. 899
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5404.899d

With the click of a mouse, find anything you want to know about mice. The furry ones, that is. “Mice are the most widely used mammals for biomedical research,” notes Eric Mercer, a biologist by training who now develops educational technologies. While at Caltech a few years ago, Mercer posted on the Internet his list of Web sites relevant to mice (and rats). This list has now grown into the Whole Mouse Catalog, hundreds of links that go beyond the critters as lab animals to their history, legends, and even their fan clubs.

The site's genome section is most popular with biomedical scientists, Mercer says, and includes links ranging from Jackson Lab's mouse genome database to chromosome maps and databases where researchers describe the inserted genes and phenotypes of their transgenic mice. Scaling up toward whole animals are sources of mouse and rat cell lines, and—in a section on organs—a site where the squeamish or the just plain curious can dissect a virtual mouse. There are research reports on mouse models for diseases, rat brain atlases, and breeding guides. Also listed are rodent dealers and federal guidelines for the treatment of lab animals.

Although ranging far afield from research, Mercer's odd assortment of “other interesting or entertaining” links is also worth a look. Check out rat and mouse clubs, a site on bubonic plague, Robert Burns's poem “Ode to a Mouse,” and even instructions on rodent-proofing your house.

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