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Singing Mice - Science/Technology - YukHub

Singing Mice by Aloyzeus(m): 11:21pm On 7 Jul 2017

A team of researchers at the University of Osaka are breeding genetically modified mice that are prone to miscopying DNA and are more likely to develop mutations.

The 'tweeting' mouse was created as part of the team's ‘Evolved Mouse Project. They hope it will shed new light on how languages evolve.

"We checked the newly born mice one by one... One day we found a mouse that was singing like a bird,’ he told AFP.

He said that the ‘singing mouse’ was born by chance but that the trait will be passed on to future generations.

The project has also produced ‘a mouse with short limbs and a tail like a dachshund’.

The laboratory, directed by professor Takeshi Yagi at the Osaka University’s Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences in western Japan, now has more than 100 ‘singing mice’ for further research.

The team hopes they will provide clues on how human language evolved, just as researchers in other countries study songbirds such as finches to help them understand the origins of human language.

'Mice are better than birds to study because they are mammals and much closer to humans in their brain structures and other biological aspects,’ Uchimura said.

‘We are watching how a mouse that emits new
sounds would affect ordinary mice in the same
group... in other words if it has social connotations,’ he said, adding that ordinary mice squeak mainly under stress.

Uchimura said their chirps ‘may be some sort
of expressions of their emotions or bodily

The team has found that ordinary mice that
grew up with singing mice emitted fewer
ultrasound squeaks than others.This could mean that communication methods can spread in the same group like a dialect.



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