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Name: Ben S.
Status: educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001

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 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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