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Books, Journals, New Media
September 22/29, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(12):1497. doi:10.1001/jama.292.12.1497-a

Making Mice is an institutional history of the world's premier mouse merchant, the Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine. It traces the invention, promotion, and changing uses of inbred laboratory mice by following the career of their impresario, the geneticist and mouse-breeder Clarence Cook Little (1888-1971).

Somewhat like Charles Darwin, who maintained close ties with pigeon fanciers and pondered the effects of breeding on bird color, morphology, and behavior, Little and his Harvard College mentor William E. Castle began their mice colonies with the stocks of fanciers and studied coat variations. Little's professional trajectory included time at the Cold Spring Harbor laboratory and stints as president of the universities of Maine and Michigan. Never one to shy away from controversy, he advocated human birth control and engaged in eugenics debates.

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