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Manufacturing Mice: Genetically Engineered Mice Offer Profound Insights Into Human Disease

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

Masked, capped, gowned and gloved, Lin Allsbury plucks and places with practiced dexterity the wriggling pink baby mice from one clear plastic bin to another. Grasping each mouse gently with sterilized forceps, she zips them unerringly from old home to new, religiously following the intricate weekly cage-changing ritual.

The technician allows no bare human hand ever to touch these tiny priceless creatures. Mouse-by-squirming-mouse, she lowers each onto a bed of pulverized corncobs heat-blasted to sterility in an autoclave. As each baby lands, the mother mouse busily nestles her brood into the cotton nesting material provided for new mothers. Transfer complete, Allberg clamps down the germ-filtering lid on the microisolator cage. The mother mouse takes a quick sip of water treated with germ-killing hydrochloric acid; nibbles a bit of mouse chow, and nestles down into the fastidiously prepared cage. Click here for the rest of the article.

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