Despite the fact that about 67% of all animal tests in the UK are conducted on mice (1,910,110 mice in 2004), it has been discovered that the outcome of all the experiments should be called into question because scientists found that even the presence of a T-shirt that had been worn by a man was enough to trigger a stress response in a mouse and this appeared to blunt the mouse’s experience of pain.
The reason why the mice become stressed is because mice and men have the same pheromones and to mice the presence of a man indicates a territorial threat.
The blunting of the experience of pain by a stressed mouse is similar to that which humans experience when for example competing at the highest level in athletics or when playing sport at the highest level.
The findings suggest that male scientists conducting animal experiments may have unwittingly skewed all their own results simply by their presence.
The person who led the study, Jeffrey Mogil, states that the findings may have complicated the interpretation of a reasonable percentage of all rodent experiments that have ever been done.
I think from what he said we can say that the results of a very sizeable percentage of the experiments conducted on mice may be invalid or called into question. And if you call the result of an experiment into question in many ways it becomes invalid because the results can’t be trusted.
To put some detail on this, the study found that for a mouse the presence of a man was a stressful as swimming in cold water for 3 mins or being trapped in a plastic tube for 15 mins, both of which are highly stressful situations for a mouse.
Apparently, mice experienced a significant increase in the stress hormone corticosterone when in the presence of a man or a T-shirt worn by man.
In animal experiments on mice scientists can can judge the amount of discomfort and/or pain and a mouse is under by using what they call the “mouse grimace scale”. I presume by this that they refer to the expression a mouse makes when suffering pain.
When in the presence of a man, mice scored 36% lower on the mouse grimace scale.
It seems that scientists who have been conducting experiments on mice will not be surprised by the findings because some of them have noticed differences in the results of experiments conducted by men and women.
The answer is to sack all male scientists who are employed in laboratories to conduct animal experiments on mice! To be serious for a minute, the answer is to stop conducting all animal experiments, in my opinion. There are better ways and more humane ways.
I had to report this on this website because cats are also often used in animal experiments. Cats are commonly used in neurological research and in the United States of America 25,500 cats were experimented upon in laboratories in 2000, of which half were experiments that had the potential to cause pain and/or distress.