Bored Scientists Put Humanised Brains in Mice

By Gary Cutlack on at

Now that we've cured cancer and ebola and Aids and colds and flu, scientists can start having fun down the lab again, with some researchers wasting their time "humanising" the brains of mice so they can learn quicker.

The researchers spliced a human gene responsible for speech and language into the mice, opening up the comedic potential of a talking supermouse that might demand more humane forms of mouse trap are used and keep us awake with their loud arguments about the merits of an independent Scotland.

The serious science bit behind it all is to show we've successfully isolated the part of the human genetic devkit responsible for learning, so there might be some kind of anti-stupid treatment available on the NHS by the year 2200. [PNAS via io9]

Image credit: Lab mouse from Shutterstock