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Humane bloodletting

Because mice are so small, sampling their blood in a laboratory isn't easy. Typically, researchers plunge a needle or pipette into the corner of a mouse's eye socket to reach a large vessel behind it. The technique can blind the animal "and is really horrible," says William Golde of the Agriculture Department's Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, N.Y. Something better was needed, the immunologist decided.

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