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The United States’ National Academies of Sciences estimates that as many as 22 million vertebrate animals are used every year in the United States alone for research and testing. About 85 percent of these animals are rats and mice. These tiny, furry creatures have been one of the go-to animals for biomedical researchers around the world for studies relating to everything from cancer to the effects of space travel on the human body. The scientific community is well aware of the invaluable role these rodents have played in the development of modern medicine and the lengthening of the average human lifespan from just 40 years at the turn of the 20th century to over 70 years today.

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Monument to lab mouse in Novosibirsk, Russia. Photo credit: Irina Gelbukh/Wikimedia

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