New Breed of Mice Retains Great Hearing (and Sex Lives) in Old Age

Scientists cross mice that have normal hearing with prolific breeders to get the best of both worlds in a new super mouse

A group of leading researchers working on hearing loss have created mice whose hearing worsens as they age, as mirror counterparts to humans. But these mice fail to breed well, which led the University of Rochester group to crossbreed them with mice that had great sex drives but even worse hearing loss in their old age. The result was a new super breed that is prolific and has superb hearing.

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Apple's Magic Mouse Mates a Multitouch Trackpad With Traditional Pointer

Magic Mouse:  Apple
Good idea: ditch the annoying scroll nipple (especially annoying on Apple's previous mice) and turn the entire top surface into a multitouch trackpad. That's what Apple's done with the Magic Mouse. Is this the end of the scroll wheel?

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Mouse Scampers on Giant Trackball, Plays Quake

Lab mice can say goodbye to clunky old non-virtual mazes

Mouse in Virtual Maze:  David Tank
In this video, a mouse runs through a virtual maze derived from a Quake 2 level, by steering a trackball suspended on a jet of air. Obviously the Princeton scientists did this because it's awesome, but the ostensible reason is because it gives them unprecedented access to study the neurological activity of the rodent while it moves around.

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Five New Microsoft Mouse Prototypes Tackle Multitouch, Look Crazy

By now you know the Windows 7 line, but in case you've somehow missed it: it's the first major computer operating system to support multitouch, meaning it (like an iPhone) can read more than one finger press at a time. Of course, in order to take advantage of touch, you need to upgrade your hardware -- for a premium price, naturally.

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Mutant Mice Are Bred to Order

Some are fat, others tiny. And one is just having a bad hair day

Head Tilt Mouse

Ever since Mario Capecchi, Martin Evans, and Oliver Smithies created the first knockout mouse in 1989, genetically engineered animals have steadily increased in popularity for all kinds of biology research: simply pick a gene, turn it off in the mouse, and see what happens.

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Stem Cells Used To Grow a New Tooth Inside a Mouse's Mouth

Just the sound of a dentist's drill is enough to send most people into a panic. Add to that the awful inconvenience of walking around for a day with half your face numb, and it's easy to see why getting a cavity filled or a tooth replaced is one of life's most annoying chores. Fortunately, some new research may make the common drill-and-fill a thing of the past.

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The Blue Dye in M&Ms Cures Spinal Injuries

Thanks to miracle compound BBG, mice turn blue, regain ability to walk

Awwwww:  University of Rochester

The next time someone tries to argue that all M&Ms are the same, no matter the color, you can tell them about the blue M&M. The candy (like Gatorade and other products) gets its color from a food dye similar to Brilliant Blue G (BBG) -- a compound that, as it turns out, is medically useful. Building on earlier research, scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have found that injections of BBG can relieve mice of secondary spinal cord injuries. In September, they will start conducting human clinical trials.

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Scientists Create Mice from Reprogrammed Skin Cells

Chinese research bypasses the need for controversial embryonic stem cells

Chinese scientists have created live mice from mature skin cells that had reverted to an embryonic-like state. The scientific success could further defuse controversy over harvesting embryonic stem cells, but also raises new ethical issues about potentially making clones selected for specific traits.

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Genetically Engineered Mice Now Produce More Human-Like Milk

Russian scientists are milking modified mice to harvest immune-system-boosting proteins

A team of Russian scientists has developed a reason to milk rodents other than defrauding Springfield Elementary School. According to National Geographic, the scientists have genetically engineered mice to produce human proteins in their milk, opening the door for healthier infant formula.

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A, T, G, C and What?

New nucleotide discovered in mouse brain

Turns out life has more essential building blocks to play with than previously thought: researchers at Rockefeller University have discovered a new nucleotide in the mammalian DNA code. Remember good ol' adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine? Well, the alphabet of our DNA sequence is about to receive a new letter. Meet 5-hydroxymethylcytosine; we aren't sure what it does or where it's located, but we know it's important -- really important.

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As Seen On TV: Can Science Keep Pests at Bay?

In the newest installment of “As Seen On TV”, we look at an electromagnetic answer to a four-legged problem

Rodents get a bad rap. Sure, some of them carried the Black Plague, devastating Medieval Eurasia. And yes, sometimes their feces can spread the deadly Hanta virus. But they don’t mean any harm, they just want to eat your trash and chew on some insulation. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped mankind from turning to everything from traps to cats to poison to get rid of them. However, if you watch enough late night TV, you’ll know that Riddex thinks there’s no better way to deal with pests than electromagnetic radiation.

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The Killer Mice of Gough Island

Freedom from predators on an unusually isolated island has led to one very giant mouse and one very doomed bird population

Widely recognized as the most important sea bird habitat on Earth, Gough Island is a geographically perfect place for the animals to raise their young. It is one of the most remote places in the South Atlantic, nearly 2000 miles from both Africa and South America and 220 miles from the next nearest island in its archipelago. It is this isolation which has allowed its ecosystem to remain a nearly perfect home for the 22 bird species that seek its shelter in order to breed.

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