Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Clyde Keeler, the man who named this blog

Keeler introduces his 1931 book as follows:

“Small rodents will always find a place in the laboratory of the zöology teacher, the biological investigator, the medical researcher, and the fancier. Each man has different problems in mind: behavior, physiology, disease, and beauty among others...”

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the “Each man” thing, since this was 1931, but there were actually women involved in mouse research even in the dark ages of the twentieth century.

“...Literature upon the house mouse, its origin, history, distribution, development, the nature of its variations, the hereditary transmission of its varietal characters, and methods of rearing it suitable to the needs of laboratories, has not been assembled so far as I am aware...To collect such valuable information as this concerning the house mouse and to present it in a usable form is the task of this book.”

I’m not sure how valuable Keeler’s recipe for mouse food is today (240 parts oatmeal, 30 parts powdered skim milk, 8 parts cod-liver oil, 1 part salt), but I find his collection of mouse lore from ancient civilizations fascinating.

Keeler, C.E. (1931). The Laboratory Mouse. Its Origins, Heredity and Culture. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.