Rodents at a Glance
Rodents, like mice and rats, are popular models for biomedical research due to their anatomical, physiological and genetic similarities to humans. Some advantages for using rodents include ease of maintenance, their small size, and short life cycles that enable researchers to study the full course of diseases and therapies.
Another plus is that mice and rats offer an abundance of genetic resources. Mice share almost 95% of their genes with humans. Their genome is well known and able to be manipulated so that models of specific human disease may be studied.
Because of these characteristics, mice continue to play a vital part in the discovery and development of treatments and cures for cancer, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many infectious diseases.
Other rodents needed for research include hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and chinchillas.