Institute of Biomedical Innovation Laboratory
$1,156 for 50 embryos
These mice have been mutated to express green fluorescent protein, so their entire bodies glow under ultraviolet light. The mice are available for organ transplantation experiments and cell transplantation experiments, according to the Japanese Institute of Biomedical Innovation Laboratory - Animal Research Resources Bank (translated).
I wonder if they could produce rats WITHOUT cancer - turn off the genes that cause them to develop tumors. I know a number of people who breed domestic rats as pets and would love to introduce cancer-free individuals into their breeding lines, even if it was very expensive. The sad truth is that nearly 100% of the rats you can buy at a pet store will develop cancer at some point in their lives due to the willy-nilly way they're bred. Even well-bred rats from careful breeders have a good chance of developing a tumor because it's difficult to eliminate the genes (females especially don't usually develop tumors until after they're past breeding age, when it's too late).
They are remarkable little critters overall. I would still be keeping them if it weren't so heartbreaking to have them explode with cancer before the age of 2.
That doesn't actually look like an AFM. Looks like a fluorescence microscope with an imaging chamber, as is often found in cell bio labs. AFM should have, at minimum, a piezoscanner, laser diode with the necessary adjustments knobs for the mirrors, and a substantial data cable running from the scanner to the computer. There are lots of good pictures of AFMs around - why not put up an image of a common model, like one of the Digital Instruments ones?
Very interesting gallery. I do look forward to the day when scientists everywhere will no longer sacrifice, nor want to sacrifice, any living creature in the pursuit of understanding the mysteries of our world. The things we do to our fellow creatures because we believe the end justifies the means are often quite horrifying. The question not asked enough: Do we do this because of the benefits it will bring, or because we can?
It's an AFM atop a confocal.
What? Labs actually buy mini guillotines? We just used the microwave in the breakroom.
@TheLoverly that's not how cancer works. You can't eradicate it entirely through breeding, since some cancers are a result of the basic mechanisms of DNA replication. However, certain genes make failures of that mechanism more likely and you can eradicate those genes through breeding.
Since your friends are breeders, it's up to them to selectively breed for lowered incidence of tumors until they have bloodlines with none.
@MagLabKat, If we don't test stuff on animals, who do you suggest we test it on? Also, if rats didn't want to be sold as experiments, then they should have evolved first! Yeah, go humans!
@goodday, I know you can't eradicate cancer entirely, but there are specific types of cancer that have been successfully bred out of rats over many many generations by caring breeders. There have been a few lines of rats out there who do not develop these types of cancers, but inevitably a breeder dies or retires and the line is lost completely, or the next person who breeds the rats chooses to breed in outside lines for appearance or other traits and loses the cancer-free genetics.
Since the majority of rat fatalities from cancer are from those specific types of cancers, and most OTHER cancers tend to form in extreme old age in rats, it is possible (but difficult) to breed a rat that most people would consider "cancer free" - I'm just not sure we know what the exact gene is that causes those cancers, in order to turn it off in lab-created embryos.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.
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