50 years ago, diabetic mice offered hope for understanding human disease | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


50 Years Ago

50 years ago, diabetic mice offered hope for understanding human disease

Excerpt from the August 12, 1967 issue of Science News

By
7:00am, July 27, 2017
diabetic mice

MOUSE GUIDES Diabetic mice with mutations in the leptin receptor gene grow much larger and fatter (left) than mice that don’t have the mutations (right). These diabetic, or db/db, mice were first described 50 years ago and have been helping scientists study the disease ever since.

Hope from diabetic mice

[Millions of diabetics] could be indebted to a strain of diabetic mice being bred in Bar Harbor, Maine. In diabetes research, “this mouse is the best working model to date,” one of its discoverers, Dr. Katharine P. Hummel, says.… A satisfactory animal subject had eluded diabetes researchers, until the mouse was found. — Science News, August 12, 1967

Update

Hummel’s diabetic mice are still used in research to mimic type 2 diabetes in humans, which is linked to obesity. In the mid-1990s, researchers found that the diabetic mice carry a mutation in the leptin receptor gene, which prevents the

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content