A lot of my experiments are run using mice. They’re small, not too expensive to keep, mammalian, and they can express the gene I study through a transgenic manipulation. Since I study pregnancy and need that particular gene and a matching placental model, they’re a great model system.
They can also be little sacks of crap and frustration.
Most of my pregnancy experiments over the last year can be summed up like this:
Me: “Hey, I bred you, and you seemed to be gettin’ it on pretty well with that boy mouse.”
Lady Mouse (LM): “Yeah! It was like Animal Planet up in this kizz-age!”
Me: “I know the Bloodhound Gang would approve. Anyway, so you’re pregnant now, right?”
LM: “YUP! I made a plug!* And I’m gonna gain some weight!”
Me: “That’s great! I’ll keep checking you because I need you to be (at given gestational stage), okay?”
LM: “Sure thing! Look at me go! I’m puttin’ on weight! I’m super hella preggers for days!”
Me: “Okay, I’m ready for you now!”
LM: “HAHAHA LOL JUST KIDDING I JUST ATE SOME EXTRA FOOD YOU ARE STUPID LOOK AT YOUR STUPID FACE”
Real science, guys.
* – plug: a gooey sort of secretion that indicates a mating has taken place. If you’d like to be grossed out or are too curious for your own good, take a look at this picture.