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Greg Critser is a longtime science and medical journalist whose work appears in the LA Times, the Times of London and the New York Times. He is the author of California (National Geographic 2000)... Read More »




The mice were up late last night, as they should be. I could hear the squeaky, cheaply made Chinese running wheel going on and on and on and on.

The running wheel is, along with the equally ubiquitous mouse house and paper tube, among the most common of the modern lab's attempts to "enrich" the mouse environment. The purpose of such is to draw the mouse's attention away from the bars of the cage and into the the center of the cage.


 Soprano syndrome in the mousehouse?

One of the first things my mice did when introduced to their new Chinese-made home (details on that to come later) was to seek out their new boundaries. Then, almost as a herd, they sought out the little clear red mouse house in the center of the cage. Boundary, then home. I note this same basic instinct in the ethology of the three categories of mammals I observe the most: my nephews, my horse, and, now, my four black6 lab mice.

My mouse farm!

Today,after endless finessing, I finally got word that I will be getting my own mice. My own lab mice. To observe. At home.


For 100 million rodents a year: what are we getting?

According to two recent studies (Carbone 2004, Balcombe, 2005), the United States now leads the world in the consumption of yet one more thing: Rodents. Specifically, for our purposes, mice--the usage of which now tallies near 80 million per annum in the US. In fact, our usage has been soaring while consumption by the other big mouse user, the EU, has actually been shrinking, partly because of new EU regulations, and partly because of growing doubts about at least some of the mus's worthiness as a test animal for toxicity and carcinogenicity.

Mouse Farm

Mouse Farm

Mar 02 2007 | comment(s)

Mouse lab culture