Books  Animal & General Biology  General Biology 

Making Mice: Standardizing Animals for American Biomedical Research, 1900-1955


By: K Rader

312 pages, B/w photos

Princeton University Press

Hardback | Apr 2004 | #150021 | ISBN: 0691016364
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About this book

Introduces us to mouse 'fanciers' who breed mice for different characteristics, to scientific entrepreneurs like geneticist C. C. Little, and to the emerging structures of modern biomedical research centered around the National Institutes of Health. Throughout Making Mice, Rader explains how the story of mouse research illuminates our understanding of key issues in the history of science such as the role of model organisms in furthering scientific thought. Ultimately, genetically standardized mice became icons of standardization in biomedicine by successfully negotiating the tension between the natural and the man-made in experimental practice.

Extremely well written and enjoyable to read... The study of human diseases using standardized animal models has now become routine practice, but its acceptability was established in large part through the use of inbred mice, as Rader convincingly argues. -- Rachel A. Ankeny American Scientist A brilliant synthesis of scientific, intellectual, and cultural history. Its subject matter is new, and the book's ultimate impact on scientific history will be significant. The product of ten years of research and writing, the tome is polished, cogent, and magnificently documented. Choice Karen Rader has written an insightful and, at times, humorous chronological history of the famous Jax mice and their unflagging promoter, C.C. Little... Rader beautifully illustrates the give and take between the scientific community and the general society. Biology Digest In this compelling historical analysis, Karen Rader shows how the common mouse (Mus musculus) was transformed into a commodity, manufactured, and marketed not only to American research laboratories, but to politicians, health policy makers, and the members of the general public as well. -- Susan E. Lederer Journal of the History of Biology Rader's carefully researched and well-produced book will be indispensable reading for everyone interested in the laboratory mouse and more generally in the tools and practices of twentieth-century biomedicine. aya de Chadarevian,"Journal of the History of medicine and Allied Sciences


Illustrations ix Acknowledgments xiii Abbreviations xvii INTRODUCTION: Why Mice? 1 CHAPTER ONE: Mice, Medicine, and Genetics: From Pet Rodents to Research Materials (1900-21) 25 CHAPTER TWO: Experiment and Change: Institutionalizing Inbred Mice (1922-30) 59 CHAPTER THREE: Mice for Sale: Commodifying Research Animals (1930-33) 97 CHAPTER FOUR: A New Deal for Mice: Biomedicine as Big Science (1933-40) 135 CHAPTER FIVE: R X Mouse : JAX Mice in Cancer Research (1938-55) 175 CHAPTER SIX: Mouse Genetics as Public Policy: Radiation Risk in Cold War America (1946-56) 221 EPILOGUE: Animals and the New Biology: Oncomouse and Beyond 251 Bibliography 269 Index 293

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Karen Rader is Marilyn Simpson Chair of Science and Society at Sarah Lawrence College.

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