Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Welcome to The Sminthophile

The word sminthophile is derived from the Greek word sminthos, meaning mouse. Clyde Keeler used the term in his speech at an awards ceremony on February 14, 1978. The ceremony celebrated inbred laboratory mice and honored the scientists who developed them and demonstrated their enormous scientific potential.1

Clyde Keeler was one of those pioneers of mouse research. He also wrote, in 1931, the definitive history of the relationship between mice and humans.2 His book describes waltzing mice in Japan, medical uses for mice and mouse products in medieval Europe, and the cult of Apollo Smintheus.

Stay tuned for more about the past, present, and future of mice.

1 Morse, H.C., III, (Ed.) (1978) Origins of Inbred Mice. Academic Press, New York. http://www.informatics.jax.org/morsebook/

2Keeler, C.E. (1931). The Laboratory Mouse. Its Origins, Heredity and Culture. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.