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Science File | IN BRIEF

Psychotic Engineered Mice to Help Research

September 04, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Psychotic mice that flee their littermates may offer insights into diseases such as schizophrenia, U.S. researchers reported Monday.

The genetically engineered mice have mutations in two key genes that make them psychotic. The mutations are the same as those found in a Canadian family with a history of schizophrenia, the researchers said.

Normally, caged mice climb over and sniff one another, but the mice with the genetic mutations failed to socialize. One small group of the mutant mice darted around wildly, avoiding their siblings.

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