A McGill University study showed that lab rodents become stressed in the presence of male researchers. Stress leads to the release of chemicals in the body that act as pain suppressors.
It turns out the best-laid research plans involving mice and men have a bit of a wrinkle — the lab rodents appear to react differently to male scientists during experiments than they do to females.
And that could skew results of numerous medical studies in which the critters are used as stand-ins for humans, suggests Jeffrey Mogil, a professor of behavioural neuroscience at McGill University, whose lab set out to test the responses of mice to male versus female experimenters.
Mogil directs a group of scientists who focus on pain, including its genetic and neurological underpinnings. Part of their work involves inducing discomfort in lab mice with the ultimate goal of finding drugs that can relieve pain in humans.
But a funny thing kept happening: sometimes, the mice didn’t react as expected when given an injection in a limb meant to induce pain and pain behaviours, including a specific set of facial expressions known as the mouse grimace scale previously developed by Mogil’s lab.
“We found that this was olfactory because we could replace the male experimenter with a T-shirt worn by a male and that also produces analgesia,” he said. “And it has nothing specifically to do with humans, because you can use bedding from almost any animal, as long as it’s male and has testosterone.
lab mice will be put in a lot less stress in the future
Didn't realize you don't enjoy exchange of opinions... won't happen again...
Funny how the article did not inspire you to comment but my PETA comment did.
Fair enough, it's difficult to be subtle with text only.
That was more of an attempt to be humorous for my part