Monday, February 11, 2008

Jet-Set Mice

Last month, 7,000 lab mice got the royal treatment after the truck they were riding in was in an accident in Wyoming. The mice were en route from The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine (The Mouse Capital of the World) to laboratories on the West Coast. Since the mice were so valuable, officials decided to box them up, 20 to a crate and fly them in three Lear jets to their destination. I wonder if they were served champagne.

Reports vary on their monetary value, from $100,000 to $6,300,000. Apparently some of the mice were worth $900 each. That's a lot of money for a lab mouse. Your standard C57BL/6 (or, as it is more commonly known, "Black 6") mouse costs about $15. Some reporter did the math, assuming they were all worth $900 (900 x 7,000 = 6,300,000). In reality, very few scientists could afford to use $900 mice. It's likely that just a few of the mice were that expensive. Hence, the revised figure of $100,000 to $250,000. Maybe they were served Miller Lite.