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Humane bloodletting

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1:24pm, October 3, 2005

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.

In the October Lab Animal, his team reports its invention of a new lancet shaped so that it just nips into a cheek vein. The tool resembles a finger-stick lancet that used to be marketed to people with diabetes, notes Peter Gollobin, president of Medipoint International of Mineola, N.Y., which is already manufact

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