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Lab mice have a chill, and that may be messing up study results

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  1. skybrian
    From the article:

    From the article:

    For instance, one study found that mice genetically modified to develop obesity only gained a lot of weight at warmer temperatures but not at colder temperatures. In a study on inflammation, researchers found that mice at cooler temperature had lower insulin and higher glucose levels. Other research has revealed that temperature can impact how plaque builds up in mice’s arteries and can modify how effective some cancer therapies are.

    But because room temperature is not usually reported in scientific studies, it may be invisibly skewing results and contributing to failed replication of published studies. That may, however, be starting to change. Dr. Ajay Chawla, professor of physiology and medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said that more researchers have been reporting temperatures over the past handful of years.

    Meanwhile, the humans working with the mice at those temperatures are quite comfortable, if not a little warm. Brianna Gaskill, an assistant professor of animal welfare at Purdue University, said that while researchers have known for a long time that lab mice are cold, a variety of factors, including researchers’ and technicians’ comfort at those temperatures, have prevented anyone from changing the thermostat.

    “You’re working up a sweat,” Gaskill said of the people who work with mice. They have to wear protective clothing, ranging from gloves up to a full body suit with a ventilator.