CNN.com - Mutant mice helping cure diseases - Aug 10, 2005:
Researchers first genetically engineered a mouse in 1980. But until recently, such creations were mostly scientific novelties.
That changed drastically after President Clinton announced the mapping of the human genome in 2000. That's because mice and men are nearly genetically identical, each possessing just a few hundred different genes out of a possible 25,000 or so. Cancer in mice is a lot like human cancer, for instance. Mice have become powerful, living research tools.
The number of mutant research mice has grown so dramatically in recent years that companies are now profiting by housing and breeding scientists' creations.
Common descent explains that similarity, and evolutionary biology is bringing us closer and closer to cures for cancer, Parkinson's and diabetes, among other things.