Albino lab Animals
Name: Ben S.
Why do laboratories prefer to use albino animals? I s
there a history to this use? Can anyone recommend a book, website etc.
that will detail the history of albine animal use in laboratories?
Charle River Labs is a good place to check out and I think the mouse to
which you refer is the Balb/c...These animals are not preferred because they
are albinos but because they are highly inbred...(about twenty generations
at least I hear) to ensure that they are essentially genetically identical
and can freely be used as tissue donors etc without worry of rejection and
also for consistency among animals in an experiment. I do not think we
actually prefer albinos ..it was just what was on the market but there are
many other non-albinos that are in use and the balb/c is less popular. F1
hybrids were my preference...being more reflective of the wild world.
Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Office of Science
Department of Energy
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Update: June 2012