Maximum Prophet points out a series of articles in Slate about the role of mice and rats in the fight against cancer. The first article discusses the problem of using the same type of animal for many tests; the reactions may be consistent, but they can also be different from the reactions a human has to the same treatment. "The inbred, factory-farmed rodents in use today—raised by the millions in germ-free barrier rooms, overfed and understimulated and in some cases pumped through with antibiotics—may be placing unseen constraints on what we know and learn." The second article focuses on one particular type of mouse, bred specifically for consistency and for its suitability to labwork, which has come to dominate biological testing. The final piece examines what researchers are trying to learn from the naked mole rat, a species that doesn't seem to get cancer on its own, and is resistant to attempts to induce cancer. "Buffenstein and her students tried one of these shortcuts. They placed some mole rats in a gamma chamber and blasted their pale, pink bodies with ionizing rays. The animals were unimpressed."
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