Animals in ResearchAbout 95 percent of all lab animals are rats and mice bred specifically for research.
Researchers study rats and mice because they are very similar to people genetically.
The mouse genome contains mostly the same genes found in the human genome.
Studying mouse or rat genes provides better understanding of how human genetics affect disease.This is important because many new therapies and medicines work by targeting specific genes in the body. Scientists can use their knowledge of genetics to recreate diseases in animals. For example, they can model human breast cancer in mice both to study the disease and test treatments. This ability and understanding has revolutionized medical research and opened many doors to finding new cures for conditions, including cancer and rare diseases.
Other Lab Animal Heroes
Rabbits, guinea pigs, fruit flies, zebrafish and worms have also made enormous contributions to understanding the cause, treatment and prevention of many complex diseases.
Did you know
Some animal research requires primates, dogs, cats and pigs because they are the best models of certain diseases. Less than one half of one percent of animal research is conducted with these animals.