Posts Tagged ‘behaviour’

Mouse Scientists Reinvent The Wheel (Again)

January 22, 2010

Having established a reputation as the world’s foremost journal of mouse science for reporting the ingenious ways scientists find of wasting taxpayers money by doing mouse related experiments in the hope of gaining insight into human behaviour we are now expanding into the area of snack science.

In the highly specialised field of mouse science many of the experiments conducted using mice involve training the mice to earn snacks by learning to press buttons with their nose but we have now become aware this mouse snack science is a different technique with a different goal to that of, to use recent examples, feeding mice lots of fry ups in an attempt to find a way of guaranteeing Daily Mail readers offspring are all child prodigies or of giving mice mobile phones in an experiment aimed at developing a technique for slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. The conclusions of these experiments are that pregnant Daily Mail readers should exist on a diet of full English breakfasts from the local Greasy Spoon and that people genetically predisposed to develop dementia should spend more time on their cellphones taking to mice.

We have also covered a story about scientists who claim to have grown human sperm in mouse testicles. While the experiment might go some way towards countering the efforts of agri-business to stop human sperm growing in human bollocks we are not sure the breakthrough would have any practical value. Given the obsession of human males with size it is hard (oops, pardon) to imagine there would be many men up for having a pair of mouse bollocks in their undercrackers instead of the more usual walnut sized tackle that populates their scrotum.

The latest breakthrough for mouse science has been achieved by fusing mouse science techniques with snack science, the best know example of which is Pavlov’s Dogs. Like the mouse fry – ups experiment it promises to be of great benefit to the kind of gullible, upwardly mobile cretins who imagine they are posh because they eat mung beans.

Take up running and you will become more intelligent and do better in your chosen career, increasing your social status and earnings potential. Using a combination of mouse science and snack science researchers have shown that running round a little wheel in pursuit of a snack they can never reach makes mice more intelligent. Their little brains actually grow more tissue.

Having run the mice round little wheels for a considerable time the researchers then subjected the rodents to a classic test on mouse intelligence, that of giving them the chance to earn a snack by pushing a button with their nose. Running mice were quickly identified as better at earning snacks than couch potato mice. When our special mouse science correspondent Thom Catt put spoke to project leader Dr. Di Luzien that maybe the couch potato mice simply could not be arsed with snacks having not burned off loads of calories running round a wheel Dr. Di Luzien replied, “You’re clearly not a scientists and you don’t understand science.”

Thom was a bit miffed at this as his family understand mice better than anybody have been studying them for several hundred millennia.

The most striking part of the experiment is that while claimed to be as the cutting edge of mouse science, snack science and neuroscience it appears to confirm the work carried out by Hatha Yoga exerts five thousand years ago which proved that increasing the oxygen intake (by controlled breathing in the case of Yoga, but fair play to them, the wheel had not been invented) improves brain function and increases intelligence.

When it was put to Dr. Di Luzien that her team had at great expense simply reinvented the wheel by discovering something that was known already she replied that if it helped people become more intelligent it was worth every penny and that when people saw her intelligent mice they would understand the importance of science done scientifically by scientists and not listen to people like Boggart Blog who just try to get cheap laughs by ridiculing important research work.

To which our reporter Thom Catt, having eaten all the evidence of intelligent mice replied smugly:

“If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you but when the seagulls follow the trawler is it because they think little fishes will be thrown in the sea. Have you produced any mouse philosophers yet?”

Start Running And Watch Your Brain Grow

More Demented Mice Science – With Mobile Phones

January 9, 2010

On of the reasons Boggart Blog loves scientists so much is the way that like religious fanatics they just refuse to give up on totally bonkers ideas. Ideas that the one that convinces them making mice behave in totally unnatural ways can teach us valuable lessons about humanity. Perhaps these people were brought up on the stories of Beatrix Potter and thus have a deep seated belief in anthropomorphism.

When we question mouse science the scientists will say “Ah but mice and humans share quite a lot of DNA. This is true, and amoebae also share a surprising amount of DNA with humans to but we don’t expect to see an amoeba that has read Shakespeare, understands modern financial systems and can tell Chateau Petrus from Sneaky Pete* any time soon.

The extent to which we are programmed by our DNA has been vastly overstated as neuroscientists recently learned. We may by act of will change inherited behaviour traits – which is what Hindu mystics have been saying for thousands of years. This more or less demolished one of the trendy new sciences, evolutionary psychology, much favoured by our very favourite sub species of scientists, the boy-scientists hose wide eyed enthusiasm for all things scientific overrides critical thinking, logical deduction and common sense.

It is with considerable joy then that hot on the heels of yesterday’s posts concerning mice, fry ups and the eternal quest of Daily Mail readers to find the Holy Grail that will guarantee they have prodigiously talented babies, we report another project that has set out to equate mouse physiology with human physiology. Scientists are claiming they are on the verge of achieving a breakthrough in the effort to find a treatment for Alzheimers disease after achieving good results with mice “programmed to get Alzheimer’s” by giving them mobile phones.

Laying aside the issue of how anybody can know a mouse has Alzheimer’s or the outrageous assumption that mice whose DNA has been fiddled with to pre-dispose them to Alzheimer’s are certain to develop it, because we have asked such questions before only to be told “you just don’t understand science,” (Maybe not, but we understand mice.) we must ask what is the point of giving mice mobile phones when they have no thumbs with which to text?

Boy scientists in Florida claim to have found mobile phone radiation helps improve the memory of mice programmed to develop Alzheimers. Al least they are not funded by UK taxpayers money. But if the mice are programmed to get Alzheimers disease they have not actually got it have they. No. Because mice don’t get Alzheimer’s disease because they’re mice not human.

So let’s guess how the process works because a lot of the science is rather vague although the bits about “we need lots of money and some jollies to the Seychelles, Paris and Amsterdam to carry out field studies” are quite specific. OK, you programme a mouse to get Alzheimer’s then clamp a little cellphone to its ear and send digital signals into its brain to override the “Get Alzheimer’s Now” routine in the program.

Sounds almost as likely as finding a cure for the common cold.

*Chateau Petrus – The world’s most expensive wine
Sneaky Pete – American slang for cheap, low quality wine fortified with illegally distilled liquor