Remarkable Mice

ramonmercado

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No Blind Mice, Thanks To UF Scientists
07 Jan 2005

University of Florida stem cell scientists reported today (Jan. 3) that they have prevented blindness in mice afflicted with a condition similar to one that robs thousands of diabetic Americans of their eyesight each year.

Writing in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers describe for the first time the link between a protein known as SDF-1 and retinopathy, a complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness in working-age Americans.

Scientists explain how they used a common antibody to block the formation of SDF-1 in the eyeballs of mice with simulated retinopathy, ending the explosive blood vessel growth that characterizes the condition. Researchers effectively silenced SDF-1's signal to activate normally helpful blood stem cells, which become too much of a good thing within the close confines of the eyeball.

“SDF-1 is the main thing that tells blood stem cells where to go,” said Edward Scott, an associate professor of molecular genetics at the UF Shands Cancer Center and director of the Program in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at UF's College of Medicine. “If you get a cut, the body makes SDF-1 at the injury site and the repair cells sniff it out. The concentration of SDF-1 is higher where the cut occurs and it quickly dissipates. But the eye is such a unique place, you've got this bag of jelly -- the vitreous -- that just sits there and it fills up with SDF-1. The SDF-1 doesn't break down. It continues to call the new blood vessels to come that way, causing all the problems.”

Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 cases of blindness each year, according to the American Diabetes Association. What happens is high blood pressure and blood sugar levels associated with diabetes cause leaks in blood vessels within the eye and hinder the flow of essential chemicals. The eye compensates by growing new blood vessels, which clog the eye and cause even more leaks. Damage occurs to the retina, gradually destroying its ability to capture images.

UF researchers analyzed samples of the vitreous gel taken from the eyeballs of 46 patients undergoing treatment for diabetic eye disease, including 24 patients with retinopathy. They found SDF-1 in each of the patients, with the highest amounts detected in patients with the worst cases. No traces of SDF-1 were found in the vitreous samples of eight nondiabetic patients who were treated for other ailments.

With the hypothesis that SDF-1 is at the heart of the problem, scientists tested to see whether the addition of the protein would call stem cells and spur extraordinary blood vessel growth in the eyeballs of 10 laboratory mice. They succeeded, creating mice with retinopathy-like conditions. Then, as a treatment, scientists injected an SDF-1 antibody directly into the afflicted eyes. The antibody -- which is simply another protein that binds to the SDF-1 -- disabled SDF-1's ability to summon stem cells, effectively halting the growth of almost all new blood vessels, said Jason M. Butler, a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences and a member of the research team.

Scientists next want to test the technique in monkeys, and if it continues to be successful, to test the therapy in human clinical trials, said Scott, the senior author of the paper. The National Institutes of Health funded the research in mice. The study in primates will involve support from RegenMed, an Alachua, Fla.-based company founded by Scott and other UF researchers to bring biomedical therapies to the marketplace.

“The scientific community and pharmaceutical companies have a long track record of being able to develop antibody-based therapy in things like snake anti-venoms,” Scott said. “This isn't a new and unproven technology. This is something that can be rapidly adapted and brought to market.”

Scientists said they still need to find a way to anchor the antibody to a molecule large enough so it can do its SDF-1-blocking work in the vitreous but will be unable to penetrate the retina. They envision a therapy that will involve routine injections of the substance into a patient's eye.

“It could potentially be a treatment option,” said Dr. Maria Grant, a professor of pharmacology and therapeutics in UF's College of Medicine who participated in the research. “Current therapy for severe diabetic retinopathy is use of lasers that destroy parts of retina that are not needed for precise vision in order to improve oxygen delivery to the parts of the retina that are needed for detailed vision. Intraocular delivery of agents that block SDF-1 represent an excellent and less destructive alternative.”

The research sheds light on the mechanisms of diabetic retinopathy and the various functions of SDF-1, said Nadir Sheibani, an assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School.

“Many factors are at work during retinopathy and it's important to understand each of them,” Sheibani said. “It's interesting that the researchers show how SDF-1 changes the levels of a protein called occludin, which affects junctions between cells that line the blood vessels. It helps explain why the blood vessels become leaky and edema develops during diabetic retinopathy.”

For more information contact:
John Pastor, (352) 392-3845, [email protected]
University of Florida http://www.ufl.edu/

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medical ... wsid=18692
 

Kondoru

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Lets hope they succeed. My Mother suffered from this.
 

ramonmercado

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Published online: 1 November 2005; | doi:10.1038/news051031-2
Mice squeak into song
Ultrasonic vocalizations from lab animals show musical traits.
Roxanne Khamsi

Mickey Mouse may have kept quiet during his early days on the silver screen, but his lab counterparts seem to have a penchant for song. That's the finding in an analysis of the ultrasonic sounds made by male mice wooing potential mates.

For years, animal-behaviour experts have known that mice make vocalizations that are too high in pitch to be picked up by the human ear. Young mice, for example, make 'isolation calls' when cold or distressed. And male mice emit ultrasonic sounds in the presence of a potential mate or in response to chemical sex cues, called pheromones, in the urine of female mice.

But until now, scientists had not examined these sounds for musical patterns. Thanks in part to a sophisticated computer program, Timothy Holy and Zhongsheng Guo of the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, were able to tackle this challenge.

Holy began by writing software that shifts the pitch of the male mouse's sounds, making the sounds deeper so that they can be heard by humans. "No one had ever pitch-shifted the mouse vocalization," he says. "The first time I played it back it was pretty surprising: it sounded so much like birdsong."

Holy and Guo then exposed male mice to female mouse urine to elicit mating vocalizations, and recorded the sounds. They analysed the minute details of captured sounds, comparing the pitch from each millisecond with the one immediately preceding it. They looked for patterns in these pitch changes, as well as in the spacing of vocalizations over time.

See how they sung

The animals' high-pitched squeaking has song-like characteristics, the researchers discovered, with distinct pairs of notes arranged in repeating phrases. Holy likens the mouse songs to juvenile bird songs, which lack a complex fixed pattern of musical themes. The findings appear in the journal PLoS Biology1.

The first time I played it back it was pretty surprising, it sounded so much like birdsong.

Timothy Holy
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri



The researchers hope to record songs in wild mice, too, and aim to understand whether these contain greater richness and complexity than those produced by lab mice.

They also aim to understand whether the mice learn these songs from one another or produce them automatically. If mice do teach one another tunes, they will join an exclusive club of animals: researchers have so far only documented this skill in humans, whales and birds.

A broader group of animals produces unlearned sounds. Some insects, such as cicadas, instinctively produce unlearned routines of clicking sounds as a part of courtship. And many birds, in addition to their learned songs, will instinctively chirp to communicate alarm if a potential predator approaches their nest.

A mouse prerogative

ADVERTISEMENT


Holy notes that the mice he studied each seemed to have a preference for singing certain songs, even though they were all genetically identical. "That's probably the best evidence we have that it's a learned behaviour," he explains. "But I would guess that the degree to which learning plays a role is more limited than in birds."

The complex mouse vocalizations are not necessarily linked to our own gift for music. Birdsong expert Daniel Margoliash of the University of Chicago, Illinois, notes that there is no compelling evidence for learned vocalizations even among our closest primate relatives, suggesting that we evolved our musical skills independently of other species.

But the mice's songs may have something to teach us about the origins of human speech, Holy suggests. He points to evidence that a gene called FOXP2 is essential for both, and adds that further studies could explore this connection.

http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051031/ ... 031-2.html

References
Holy T. & Guo Z. PLoS Biol., 3. e386 (2005).
Mice
 

GNC

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Anyone who's seen Babe knows that mice can sing.
 

Mal_Adjusted

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LIVE baby mice tumble out of crisps bag as horrified mother takes multipack off shelf at Tesco store

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:45 PM on 13th December 2010

A stunned mother has described her shock at seeing live baby mice tumble out of a packet of crisps she had just picked up in a Tesco store.

Liz Wray said she saw half a dozen mice drop from multipacks of crisps in the supermarket in Aston, Birmingham, where the rodents appeared to have been nesting.

'They were repulsive and made me feel revolting,' said the health visitor. 'There were half a dozen of them crawling out of different holes in the crisps and we couldn't believe our eyes.

'They were repulsive and made me feel revolting,' said Mrs Wray

'I was with a work colleague who reached out towards the crisps and started screaming. They dropped down from the shelf.

'Suddenly these tiny pink things appeared from the multipacks and were lying in front of us. I'm not sure if they were inside the multipack or if they were just in among the packets.

'But there were a lot of holes in the bag - they'd obviously been at them.'

The mother of one said that instead of closing the new store all supermarket workers did was put a box over the rodents in aisle six before calling in pest control.

Liz was shopping in the store with a friend when she made the discovery on Friday afternoon.

She said: 'When I told the store manager, he said "We can't do much about it because we are near a canal and railway track and the mice tend to come through the floor."

'I couldn't believe he was saying that to me. The whole situation was horrible.

'I couldn't believe that they only closed a part of aisle six. I asked the store manager what the normal policy is and they said that they wouldn't close down the store.

'When I rang the head office I was told that the policy is to ring environmental health and get them to investigate. They should have shut the whole store.'

Tesco called in Rentokil to deal with the incident and today apologised for what happened.

A spokesman for the supermarket said: 'This was clearly an upsetting discovery for our customer, for which we are very sorry.

'Pest control experts were in the store to deal with the problem and we are confident this was an isolated incident.

'The cleanliness of our stores is a priority for all our staff and there is a clear protocol on how they should deal with this kind of issue.'

The Tesco store in Birmingham: The supermarket said it had called in Rentokil to deal with the incident and apologised for what happened.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z180iTOdkB

every little helps ...
 

escargot

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If this'd been me, and I'd had kids with me, I'd have lifted them up to see the mice and chatted about the little nest, and how the baby mice would go creeping along the shelves looking for food and then later on snuggle down together in their nest to sleep... :D
 

Fluttermoth

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escargot1 said:
If this'd been me, and I'd had kids with me, I'd have lifted them up to see the mice and chatted about the little nest, and how the baby mice would go creeping along the shelves looking for food and then later on snuggle down together in their nest to sleep... :D
Yes; that would have been me too!
Such a fuss over a few baby mice, really :roll:

I had a rat in my kitchen once that ran up my arm when I accidently cornered it behind a box of cornflakes (I thought it was a mouse; I was going to catch it in a margerine tub); now that made me squeal like a girl!
 

liveinabin

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She wants to man up really.
I bet if she had turned up to find the store closed because someone had found a mouse she would have complained about that.

I remember the Asda at Brighton Marina used to have sand martens living in the roof. It was a big warehouse style store and you could see them flying between the rafters.
 

Spookdaddy

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'They were repulsive and made me feel revolting,' said Mrs Wray
So it kind of balanced out then?

D'you know - thinking about it, I'm not absolutely convinced she meant it to come out that way.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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liveinabin1 said:
I remember the Asda at Brighton Marina used to have sand martens living in the roof. It was a big warehouse style store and you could see them flying between the rafters.
They are still there! Well, there are definitely some birds up there. And in the Asda at Hollingbury too.
 

coaly

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Th real problem here, is that mice were allowed to infest food, in a public place. How could it happen, if shelves are regularly re-stocked, cleaned and checked? Simply put... it couldn't. So the mice were just a symptom of other woes. The mice in the picture loked but a few days old, but that's long enough surely, for someone to have noticed.
I think her reactions were a bit over the top though. I'd have reported it, and expected the store to have removed the entire stock from the shelf and destroyed it. Mice do carry lots of diseases, so it's not always prudent to be sentimental. ;)
 

Mythopoeika

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I agree with Coaly, it does sound like pretty bad store management.
Tescos should fire that manager.
 

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Mal_Content said:
LIVE baby mice tumble out of crisps bag as horrified mother takes multipack off shelf at Tesco store

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:45 PM on 13th December 2010

A stunned mother has described her shock at seeing live baby mice tumble out of a packet of crisps she had just picked up in a Tesco store.

Liz Wray said she saw half a dozen mice drop from multipacks of crisps in the supermarket in Aston, Birmingham, where the rodents appeared to have been nesting.

'They were repulsive and made me feel revolting,' said the health visitor. 'There were half a dozen of them crawling out of different holes in the crisps and we couldn't believe our eyes.

'They were repulsive and made me feel revolting,' said Mrs Wray
True enough it casts questions on the cleanliness of the store, but it's a fucking mouse. Get a grip.

And who exactly said this? The shopper or the health inspector.

Shoddy journalism :(
 

Quake42

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True enough it casts questions on the cleanliness of the store, but it's a fucking mouse. Get a grip.
Her reaction was admittedly melodramatic, but I can't understand the posters on here saying how she should have been thrilled with the cuteness of it all. There's nothing cute about having mice crap in your food.

And who exactly said this? The shopper or the health inspector.

Shoddy journalism
I think the point is that Mrs Wray herself is employed as a heath visitor.
 

McAvennie

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Fair enough, in that case they did not need to repeat her quote twice, unless it has c&p'd a crosshead as well as the main text.

I'll let them off the hook on this one.
 

linesmachine

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This is one of those stories that really divides the FT group.

I do all the household shopping and personally I would love to see some wildlife in my local Tescos and the concept of even bothering to suggest the manager should be fired is just....dissapointing really. If you suspect a mouse might have crapped in your food....shop somewhere else but alteast go "ahhhhhhhh!" at the little mousies!
 

Quake42

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I do all the household shopping and personally I would love to see some wildlife in my local Tescos and the concept of even bothering to suggest the manager should be fired is just....dissapointing really. If you suspect a mouse might have crapped in your food....shop somewhere else but alteast go "ahhhhhhhh!" at the little mousies!
Granted mice are appealing in a way that, say, cockroaches are not, but the fact remains that allowing them to infest a food shop is pretty poor. I don't want to see the manager sacked either, but clearly it's not acceptable to allow them to remain in the shop on the basis that they look cute.
 

ramonmercado

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Whats the prob? You're watching TV, u get the crisps, your cat gets the mice.
 

Fluttermoth

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Quake42 said:
...

Her reaction was admittedly melodramatic, but I can't understand the posters on here saying how she should have been thrilled with the cuteness of it all.
...
I certainly wasn't trying to imply that she should have been 'thrilled'! Just that mice are very good at getting into places where there is a plentiful food supply and her reaction was over the top.
It seems a shame that such a normal, natural thing as a few baby mice should cause such hysteria, despite the disease/contamination worry which is, of course, not to be underestimated.
Another example of how distanced from the 'real' world many people have become, I suppose.
 

escargot

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I said, I'd have seen it as an opportunity to give my kids a bit of nature study. I don't do screaming and running away and neither, incidentally, do they. ;)
 

coaly

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If I had been there with my kids, I'd have felt sorry for them, (the kids), as it would have to be explained that the fascinating little creatures would be killed, as they are vermin. I think I would have probably picked them up and tried to save them to be honest. (Good animal science lessons!)... but had I been there alone, I would have reported it, and put my shopping back.
 

Quake42

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but had I been there alone, I would have reported it, and put my shopping back
I think that's the point - I'm sure the baby mice were cute and enchanting, but you wouldn't want to shop there once you saw them chewing through the crisps aisle.

On the one occasion a mouse appeared in my flat my middle-aged, lazy and usually very soppy cat leapt up and broke the mouse's neck immediately. I did feel a little sorry for the mouse, but mainly I was relieved that the problem had been dealt with so quickly! Cats do seem to be the best deterrent to this particular problem... perhaps this branch of Tesco should invest in one.
 

escargot

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Well, as I wasn't there and so didn't see the mice, and my children are grown up and quite capable of shopping in whatever vermin-infested supermarkets take their fancy, it's all hypothetical anyway and I've lost interest now. My Tesco vouchers have just come and I'm off to browse the wine section. :lol:
 

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I'll admit, this put me off bread for a day or two when I first saw it...

 

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McAvennie_ said:
I'll admit, this put me off bread for a day or two when I first saw it...

Just cut the crust off man what's wrong with you? :lol:
 

GNC

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Have you never seen Never Cry Wolf? You can exist on a diet of mice and you don't need to be a cat to do so.
 

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The Romans used to breed dormice as a delicacy, can't imagine there'd be much eating on one though.
 

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linesmachine said:
I do all the household shopping and personally I would love to see some wildlife in my local Tescos and the concept of even bothering to suggest the manager should be fired is just....dissapointing really. If you suspect a mouse might have crapped in your food....shop somewhere else but alteast go "ahhhhhhhh!" at the little mousies!
Your attitude is just odd. Or are you just being deliberately contrarian?
Come on, what happened to the concept of health and hygiene?

'Disappointing'? Well, it seemed from the original post that a pest problem had happened before in the store. Also, the manager didn't seem to take it seriously enough - he really should have closed the store and called in Rentokil.
If that was a restaurant, the health inspectors would close it down.
Tescos have huge resources, enough to ensure that the problem is fixed properly.

It's all very well suggesting that people shop elsewhere, but if someone inadvertently bought a contaminated item, they could get some form of illness or may be sufficiently revolted to sue Tesco (if they found some extra unexpected protein, if you know what I mean). That could work out a lot more expensive than closing the store for a couple of days.
 

coaly

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The mouse was probably bullied out of its natural home anyway, knowing Tesco, the bully boy un-ethical facist dictating capitalist *the N word*! :lol:
 
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