From the archives: Medicine animals

The human pregnancy test that uses dead rabbits; the human fertility test that creates human-hamster hybrids; mice with knocked-out genes; and the immortal dog cancer.

Prior to modern pregnancy tests, you could instead use a rabbit, frog, mouse, or toad.


Hamster
Sqrt (Andreas Hein) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One male infertility test uses golden hamsters, and can actually create a single-cell human-hamster hybrid.


Knockout mice
Maggie Bartlett, NHGRI. / Public domain

Medical research uses knockout mice to determine the functions of mammal genes.


Husky
Flickr user shmoomeema [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dogs worldwide carry canine transmissible venereal tumours. These self-replicating cell lines all originate from a single mutant dog hundreds of years ago.

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