Why new cloned mice can help scientists treat lab animals more humanely

This week, scientists cloned a mouse from cells found in a drop of mouse blood. That’s different from other cloned mice, whose creation relied on more invasive sampling from the liver, bone marrow, and lymph nodes (read: the original animal was euthanized). Cloning mice is valuable for scientific research — it’s handy to have your… READ THE REST

Uhm. “Killing the original mouse” is not inherently inhumane. The standard technique for “sacrificing” a lab mouse snaps its neck about as gently and suddenly as one could reasonably expect; death is rapid and fear/pain are believed to be minimal.

Probably more humane than your last meat meal.

There are working animals, there are lab animals, there are food animals, there are companion animals, there are zoo animals, there are wild animals. The same species – and indeed the same breed – may occupy any combination of these. “Humane” involves causing the individual animal minimal discomfort (physical or psychological) given the role we are asking it to play. If you want to object to some of the roles as inherently inhumane, that’s a different conversation.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. All the mice in this equation, cloned or not, are gonna die.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. All mice are gonna die.

(Unless we’re talking trans-dimensional mice, then it gets complicated.)

Hang on- it’s certainly possible to take samples of liver, lymph node and bone marrow from people without killing them. Bone marrow transplants (from living donors) are routine, as are liver and lymph node biopsies.

Maybe it’s harder with mice because they’re so small?

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