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December 4, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Have scientists finally discovered the genetic fountain of youth? Hardly. But by creating a genetic switch that allows them to artificially age — and rejuvenate — lab mice, scientists have shown that it is possible to reverse some effects of aging in mammals. "It indicates there's a point of return if you remove the underlying cause of the aging," said Dr. Ronald DePinho, the molecular biologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School who led the study, published online this week in the journal Nature.
May 20, 2013 | By Amina Khan
A crew of Mongolian gerbils may have gone where no Mongolian gerbil has gone before, but they did not come back alive. A Russian spacecraft filled with mice, lizards and other animals has returned to Earth -- but with the majority of its furred passengers apparently dead. The Bion-M experiment, launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on April 19, carried 45 mice, 15 geckos, 18 Mongolian gerbils, 20 snails and a number of different plants, seeds and microorganisms, according to a Russian state news site .  About half of the mice died, but the lizards reportedly survived.
April 8, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Drinking at a young age is simply bad for the brain, according to a growing number of studies. The latest study looks at the relationship between alcohol and the brain in mice. And the results are not pretty. Researchers gave mice alcohol daily for 10 days and later examined their brains with MRI. The mice who were drinkers in youth had smaller forebrain volume and size as adults. The study also found reduced activity in some genes that govern brain chemicals called neurotransmitters 24 hours after an alcohol binge in adolescent mice.
July 2, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
[This post has been corrected. See note at bottom.] A federally approved drug already being inhaled by asthma patients may make mice with Down syndrome smarter, according to a new study. Researchers chose to test the widely manufactured bronchodilator, Formoterol, because it also acts on a brain chemical crucial to memory-based learning. Earlier research had shown a similar compound successfully stimulated production of that brain chemical, called a neurotransmitter, which then improved neuron formation and cognition in mice that had been genetically altered to show symptoms of Down syndrome, according to Dr. Ahmad Salehi, a Stanford University neurobiologist who led the study, published Tuesday in the journal Biological Psychiatry.
May 23, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/ For the Booster Shots Blog
Steady exposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by cellphones during use may disrupt fetal development, disturb memory and weaken the barrier that protects the brain from environmental toxins, says a welter of new research being presented this week in Istanbul, Turkey. The authors of the studies, published in the past two years, highly preliminary and conducted on rabbits, mice and rats, suggested that the non-ionizing radiation emitted by cellphones and the base stations that broadcast cellphone signals may fundamentally damage cells by means other than the heat that they generate.
December 21, 2010 | By Tami Dennis, Tribune Health
Hexavalent chromium. The term sounds high-tech and slightly ominous to those unfamiliar with it -- and apparently few people are familiar with it. Hexavelent chromium is currently piquing online readers' curiosity. The highly publicized specter of potentially toxic water can do that. So here are some basics.... Hexavelent chromium is, quite obviously, a form of the element chromium. The heavy metal is more commonly called chromium 6 and it's used in the production of stainless steel, pigments and protective coatings.
February 24, 2001 | Reuters
U.S. researchers have produced laboratory mice with human brain cells, marking a potential step toward developing treatments for human brain disease such as Alzheimer's but promising to fuel fresh debate over bioengineering. The research was done at California biotechnology company StemCells Inc. "We are not re-creating a human brain.
September 24, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
British scientists have created the first effective mouse model of Down syndrome by inserting more than 90% of human chromosome 21 into mouse cells. Humans with the disease have an extra copy of the chromosome.
A new strain of midget mice that are only half normal size has been developed by Ohio University researchers who accomplished the feat by modifying the gene for a growth hormone and inserting it into the animals, the scientists report today. The researchers say the technique should work for any animal, so it should be possible to develop small rodents, pigs and other laboratory animals that would require less space and food.
May 24, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Mice implanted with ovaries from much younger mice live to a riper old age, according to UC Davis researchers. Ovaries from female mice aged 11 months (the equivalent, in mouse age, to a 50-year-old woman) were replaced by fresh ones from 2-month-old females. The mice lived 40% longer than mice that had undergone no surgery, the scientists found.
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