Science: Of (Transgenic) Mice and Men

Rodents with foreign genes may yield a scientific bonanza

Some appear perfectly pedestrian, with the warm white fur and beady pink eyes of pet-store mice. Others are clearly extraordinary, waddling about on paws shaped like miniature dolphin flippers or swollen to the size of their larger relative, the rat. They are called transgenic mice, and in a nobly selfless fashion, they are revolutionizing modern biology. Hidden somewhere along the twisting chain of DNA found in every cell of their bodies are alien genes, injected by biologists. The study of these mutants and the effects of the interloping genes may help provide answers to such fundamental questions as what switches DNA...

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