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Mice And Humans

House mice, as well as other species, have been linked to man for thousands of years. Their destruction of human food supplies and crops has been recorded in very early records. Importantly, these mice are also responsible for spreading a number of diseases, such as typhus, spotted fever, Salmonella food poisoning, and bubonic plague.

While many of their activities definitely have had a negative impact on humans, mice have also been provided a useful service. Ever since their importation to Europe from Japan in the mid-1900s, house mice, and some other species, have been used as laboratory animals for research in medicine and biology. In particular, mice are used to study human genetics, to test the effects of various drugs, and to follow the development of certain viruses. Furthermore, mice are used in human pregnancy tests, and they help doctors better understand the way that cancer effects humans. Probably, the most commonly used species is the white mouse, an albino form of the house mouse.

Kathryn Snavely

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Methane to Molecular clockMice - New World Mice (hesperomyinae), Deer Mice, House Mice, Wood Mice, Spiny Mice - Old World mice (Murinae)