Question: so how do mice relate to the human body

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  1. You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but humans and mice actually have a lot of similarities aside from just being mammals. We share a lot of the same genes, which are sections of DNA that give us all of our characteristics, meaning that the body of a mouse tends to work in a very similar way to humans. We have very similar skeletons, muscles, and organs, and develop in very similar ways before we are born. Humans and mice often develop diseases in the same way (we call disease onset ‘etiology’), but because they have much shorter lives, we can see effects of things like disease or age much faster than if we studied humans. By selective breeding or changing their genes, we can breed different types of mice to look at different conditions, like epilepsy, stroke, or obesity. Many drugs work in a similar way in the two species, which means we can get a good idea of how something will work when you give it to a human.

    Of course, not everything is the same, so mice are not always the best way to look at human problems, and at the moment a lot of people are asking whether the work we do with animals relates well enough to humans to continue. For the time being though, they are still the most commonly used animal, and are considered the safest way for us to test new medicines before they are given to humans.


  2. Excellent question, smart cookie.

    Gene for gene, we humans are very similar to mice. On top of that, we also have the same organs.

    The reason why we use mice in research is mainly because we don’t like to work with primates (human like monkeys), and in some countries this is now illegal. Mice are easy to work with because they’re small, they quickly get babies and we can easily change their DNA to make subtle changes.

    However, sometimes things that work in mice, don’t work in humans. For example, we do a lot of research trying to find drugs that can treat cancer and other horrible diseases. Quite often we’ll find a drug that works in mice to prevent or slow down cancer, but when we eventually test it in humans, it may have very serious side effects or may even be deadly……

    So yes mice are great models for the human body, but ofcourse they’re not exactly the same.