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Two freeze-dried genetically engineered mice, United States, 1988

These two freeze-dried, genetically engineered mice are direct descendants of the first mammals to be patented in the United States. In 1984, at Harvard Medical School, scientists created thirteen strains of mice, genetically modified to be super susceptible to cancer in order to test anti-cancer drugs. These mice were known as ‘oncomice’, oncology being the medical specialism concerned with cancer.

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    Glossary: genetics

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    Glossary: mouse

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    Glossary: cancer

    Any cancerous tumour. It arises from the abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells which then invade and destroy the surrounding tissues. Cancer cells spread and can form secondary tumours some distance from the original.

    Glossary: bioengineering

    The development of artificial replacement limbs, organs and tissues. It also refers to the use of plants in controlling erosion and in landscape restoration.