The Rise of the Mouse, Biomedicine's Model Mammal

Science  14 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5464, pp. 248-253
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5464.248

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BAR HARBOR, MAINE-- The mouse's enormous fecundity, low maintenance costs, and physiological and genetic similarity with humans are making it scientists' preferred model of human genetics and physiology, thereby creating an unprecedented demand for inbred rodents. Indeed, the mouse's growing importance as a "fuzzy test tube" has made it the only mammal other than the human scheduled for complete genetic sequencing, a task that both the National Institutes of Health and the private company Celera have targeted to complete within 5 years. Universities and major commercial breeders are now retooling to meet greater demand for rodents spurred by government and corporate spending on biomedical research.