Skip to comments.Japan scientists develop fearless mice
Posted on 12/13/2007 6:02:32 PM PST by Pharmboy
In this undated photo released by Tokyo University's
Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry Graduate
School of Science, a genetically modified mouse
approaches a cat in Tokyo. Using genetic engineering,
scientists at Tokyo University say they have
successfully switched off the rodents' instinct to
cower at the smell or presence of cats, showing that
fear is genetically hardwired and not leaned through
experience, as commonly believed. (AP Photo/Ko
and Reiko Kobayakawa, Tokyo University Department of
Biophysics and Biochemistry Graduate School of Science, HO)
Cat and mouse may never be the same. Japanese scientists say they've used genetic engineering to create mice that show no fear of felines, a development that may shed new light on mammal behavior and the nature of fear itself.
Scientists at Tokyo University say they were able to successfully switch off a mouse's instinct to cower at the smell or presence of cats showing that fear is genetically hardwired and not learned through experience, as commonly believed.
"Mice are naturally terrified of cats, and usually panic or flee at the smell of one. But mice with certain nasal cells removed through genetic engineering didn't display any fear," said research team leader Ko Kobayakawa.
In his experiment, the genetically altered mice approached cats, even snuggled up to them and played with them. Kobayakawa said he chose domesticated cats that were docile and thus less likely to pounce.
Kobayakawa said his findings, published in the science magazine Nature last month, should help researchers shed further light on how the brain processes information about the outside world.
Kim Dae-soo, a neural genetics professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul, who was not involved in the research, said Kobayakawa's research could explain further what fear is, and how to control it.
"People have thought mice are fearful of cats because cats prey on them, but that's not the case," Kim said.
"If we follow the pathway of related signals in the brain, I think we could discover what kind of networks in the brain are important for controlling fear."
Associated Press Writer Jae-soon Chang in Seoul contributed to this report.
lol....ya.....it couldn't possibly be a combination of both.
Man this is going to make cats lazy. Dinner serves itself! I don’t think though that these mice have much of an evolutionary future
These are normally what you call cat food.
And here I always thought the fearless mouse was invented by two Americans, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera.
Capt. Obvious here...
‘Cause the cats ate all the ones that had that same “genetic problem” over the last few thousand years...
Well sure, everything is a combo of both, but it’s a heck of a lot harder to train a mouse to look a cat in the eye like that than change his genes to get that effect.
I know but that’s not what the sentence stated. The statement was absolute.
Where can I buy some?My cats would love to find some of them under the tree Christmas morning.
Ok who is going to post the exploding mouse gif where it says BANZAI!!!
Fearless Japanese mice. There is a certain irony there...
bump & a ping
i can eats 1 no tail guy snak k?
If rhinos eat these mice, will it make them conservatives?
So in other words, they developed stupid mice.
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