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Diets of rodents may have tainted decades of research

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posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 08:19 AM
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Diets of rodents may have tainted decades of research


For decades, in thousands of laboratories across the country, biomedical researchers have relied on laboratory rats and mice to devise treatments for cancer, heart disease, inflammation and a host of other human afflictions.

But what if, despite all the rigorous procedures to ensure valuable test results, many of those studies have been skewed by the most seemingly mundane of factors: what the animals are routinely fed?

The concern is that researchers have unwittingly administered hormones present in some rodent chow.

A small but growing number of scientists are warning that these hormones are a hidden element in millions of laboratory experiments – potentially affecting researchers' conclusions on countless aspects of disease.

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:shk:




posted on Aug, 2 2006 @ 10:28 AM
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Well, considering the lab I worked in during my undergradute years used different food for mice, rabbits, and mice, and we were able to get the same results, I don't know if hormones play that big a deal. Granted, it may in cancer, as my work dealt with immunology, not cancer, but even then I'd be skeptical.

Mariella



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 03:25 PM
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Temple Grandin (www.grandin.com...) made the interesting observation that strains of the same mice behave very differently in different labs. Her observation was that the labs may be unconsciously selecting for certain things (her suggestion was that in one lab, they experiment on the less aggressive mice because they're easier to handle; in the other lab they experiment on the more aggressive mice because they're sturdier and can take the surgeries better) and that over generations there are differences even in the same strain of mouse.

It was an interesting observation.

So there could be quite a few differences in the mice, including differences in diet (depending on who raised them and where they came from.)

That's something to investigate.



posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 06:08 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
Temple Grandin (www.grandin.com...) made the interesting observation that strains of the same mice behave very differently in different labs. Her observation was that the labs may be unconsciously selecting for certain things (her suggestion was that in one lab, they experiment on the less aggressive mice because they're easier to handle; in the other lab they experiment on the more aggressive mice because they're sturdier and can take the surgeries better) and that over generations there are differences even in the same strain of mouse.

It was an interesting observation.

So there could be quite a few differences in the mice, including differences in diet (depending on who raised them and where they came from.)

That's something to investigate.


That seems like a much more viable theory than the diet. I can honestly say that I did indeed prefer less aggressive rats, and never even thought of the genetic component having any effects on the experiment.

I agree, definitely something to investigate.

Mariella




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