Weather of Arabia - When we wonder about scientific studies and the atmosphere of the laboratories in which they are conducted, we can imagine a small world, in which scientists move with their tools and ideas to a place no larger than a pencil, where they embark on a wondrous exploratory journey that reveals to them the secrets of life and diseases, and paves the way for them to scientific discoveries. But what is this little world hero?
In this small world, the mouse is seen as its simplest and most important inhabitant. It is the basic element that combines small size with natural features. Choosing the mouse in scientific experiments may seem intuitive, but what makes it the most suitable are the scientific reasons that support this choice.
When researchers break into this small world, they discover that a mouse has characteristics that make it the perfect companion for their journey. It turns out that this small creature holds the keys to understanding the secrets of humans and the many diseases that affect them. In this article, we will explore together why the animal for scientific experiments is the mouse, and why it is an incomparable companion in the journey of scientific research.
In the world of medical research, mice come at the top of the list as animals that are mainly studied in medical research, and they have a special and vital role in this field, as mice share many important biological features with humans. They are very similar to humans in terms of genome similarity, as They are estimated to be about 80% similar to human genes. In addition, mice resemble humans in their appearance and physical structure, undergo similar biological processes such as aging and response to disease and infection, and have hormonal systems similar to humans, making them suitable for experiments related to hormonal effects. In addition to their genetic similarity, modern technology has provided Also, it is possible to easily edit the genome and target specific parts of it in mice, and this gives researchers a unique opportunity to understand the potential effects of genetic modifications on health and diseases. Simply put, the mouse is an animal of great importance in medical research. Due to its biological similarity to humans and our ability to easily manipulate its genes. It is a window to understanding human diseases and developing innovative medical treatments and processes.
Many notable advances in medical science have been made as a result of research using mice, including the treatment of acute myelogenous leukemia, which is today one of the most treatable types of cancer, and gene transfer protocols for cystic fibrosis that are currently being tested .
Medical sciences have witnessed great progress, and this progress has been documented by prestigious Nobel Prizes. Among these Nobel achievements you will find:
All these achievements could not be achieved without the contribution of research on mice.
A deep understanding of the physiology of mice and their small, easy-to-handle size are the main reasons behind their popularity in scientific research; In 2013, laboratories in Canada used more than 1.2 million mice in their research, according to the Canadian Council on Animal Care, the national body that enforces strict regulations for animal health care in various types of laboratories.
Physiologically, mice are very similar to humans, even if they are approximately 3,000 times smaller; It has similar basic bodily functions, such as blood production, digestion, breathing, and the cardiovascular system. Although there are some differences, mice show similar responses to humans when exposed to disease or treatment.
To take an example, through research on mice, remarkable progress has been made in treating Immune Thrombocytopenia, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks platelets, disrupting the blood clotting process. In addition, in another study, it was conducted on mice with another type of disorder. Coagulation: Tests have shown how proteins in plasma transfusion restore clotting function and stop bleeding.
Mice reproduce easily, have short gestation periods, and produce large quantities of offspring, which helps researchers generate genetically modified mice specifically for their needs. Working with animals that show slight differences can increase the value of experimental results. The animals all react in the same way, which increases the reliability of the results. In addition, the technology has also been able to clone mice since 1997, adding additional power to the research.
Mice, on the other hand, are highly diverse, allowing commercial breeders to select for individual traits to create inbred lines with unique characteristics. For example, the CBA mouse strain has a low incidence of mammary cancer development, while the BALB/c mouse is immunodeficient; Because they lack a thymus, these unique characteristics of the strains make it easier for scientists to focus on studying specific diseases. For example, researchers prefer to use Mdx mice, which lack mature muscle protein, as models to study Duchenne muscular dystrophy, while others choose to use Mdx mice. Non-diabetic NOD as ideal models for studying new treatments for autoimmune diseases.
In addition to breeding strategies based on natural variations, it also allows researchers to take advantage of genome editing tools; Because mice share about 80% of their genes with humans, modifying the DNA of mice is an effective way to create animal models of human diseases. Technologies such as the Cre/lox system and the latest CRISPR gene editing tools allow researchers to delete, activate, or repair genes, making it possible to recreate Human disease in mouse or exploring the effect of gene modification.
Instead of removing or inactivating a gene, researchers can create genetically modified animals by filling mice with human genes, human cells, or even human tissue. Using such techniques, researchers can create “ humanized” mice that respond nearly as physiologically as humans, making It allows them to study the effect of disease on the human body and its response to treatment. For example, researchers have done important research on HIV and its treatment using mice with humanized immune systems. They have also tested new treatments that prevent pregnant women from becoming infected with the Rh factor. Using HOD mice that express a recombinant protein distinct to red blood cells.
Although there are major differences between the human genome and the mouse genome, these differences do not diminish the value of using mice in studying human diseases, although there are differences in the regulatory elements that may be in different locations, and they have evolved over time, over 75 million years. From the evolution of mouse and human, their basic functions remain similar.
Scientists are always looking for alternatives to using animals in clinical research, but the role that mice play as experimental models of human disease cannot yet be replaced. Even with differences between the two species, conducting basic research on humanized mouse models of disease gives scientists valuable information, and allows Using mice as surrogates for researchers to see how patients respond to treatment before giving them the drug is a vital step to ensuring patient safety.
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