Saturday, 12 March 2016

Why scientists use humanized rodents in research

Why scientists use humanized rodents in research 
Researchers have used humanized rodents in laboratory research since time immemorial. This is because they need to test specimens that can work most effectively in human bodies. Since they cannot use humans, the closest alternative they can find is mice.

Human beings and mice have 95-98 per cent similar genes. Interestingly, humans share many diseases and illnesses with mice. For this reason, the studies conducted on these rodents are very likely to be accurate and relevant in developing medicine for humans. Further, doctors can better diagnose diseases in humans. Further, they can recommend effective medication and remedies. 

The following are diseases that researchers can test using mice-
• Cardiovascular disease
• Alzheimer's disease
• Parkinson's disease
• Diabetes
• Cancer
• Obesity, seizures
• Cataracts
• Respiratory diseases
• HIV and AIDS
• Illnesses and diseases of the spinal cord 
• Deafness 

Ease of manipulation 
Researchers can easily manipulate the genomes of mice. When scientists know a certain disease causing gene in humans, they can inject it in humanized mice and test prospective medical remedies. This increases the probability of finding cures of common diseases. 
At the same time, it is easy to alter the immune systems of mice to mimic the immune systems of humans. This way, they can allow the repeated testing of different aspects such as immunity, blood characteristics, and diseases. 

Ease of inbreeding
It is easy to inbreed humanized rodents to yield results. This is similar to the intermarriage of people from different races. In addition, scientists can breed them to come up with identical strains. This enables them achieve accurate experiments. The fact that science has involved mice in research for a long time means that the rodents are more understood now than ever before.

Small maintenance requirements
The fact that humanized rodents are small means that it is easy to maintain them in typical laboratories. While they consume little food in a day, they need little housing space. The rodents are not hostile and are easy to handle. 

Better than other animals
The hormonal similarity in mice and humans make these rodents better alternatives than worms and flies. Just like humans, mice are exposed to disease-causing organisms. This is especially true for cancer and diabetes. 

Additionally, scientists can develop mice born with faulty immunity. This way, they use them as hosts to develop normal tissues and diseased tissues. This fact is especially important in the research surrounding AIDS and cancer. Get further info here.

Short lifespan and fast multiplication
The average mouse ages 30 times faster than the average human being. This means that scientists can conduct research on the aging process faster. After birth, it only takes 10 weeks for a mouse to give birth. For this reason, scientists can observe different mice generations at the same time. 

One interesting fact about the mice is that they can mate the day they deliver offspring. This means that a female mouse can deliver a young one after every three weeks. This rapid multiplication of humanized mice gives scientists plenty of humanized rodents to use in research. 

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