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Novosibirsk, Russia

Monument to the Laboratory Mouse

This cuddly rodent has a place of honor at a Russian institute for genetic research. 

Mice and rats are the most common animals used in laboratory experiments. Tens, if not hundreds of millions of them lose their lives every year in the U.S. alone, in the name of science. This monument in central Russia commemorates these brave rodents, who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the advancement of mankind.

The Monument to the Laboratory Mouse can be found in a courtyard at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Akademgorodok, Russia, a research facility associated with Novosibirsk State University that seeks to better understand the nature of DNA. The mighty mouse is of the anthropomorphic variety, with glasses, dressed in a lab coat, and studiously knitting a DNA double helix.

The wise-looking rodent symbolizes the gradual progress of DNA research through the years, to a large extent thanks to the sacrifice of countless numbers of his own species.

There are a number of characteristics that have made the mouse the most commonly used mammal for testing and research. They are in the same super-order of mammals as humans, which provides for similar genetics despite the very visible differences. Although those differences are a lot less visible with our little friend here.

Know Before You Go

The monument is outside the entrance to the Institute of Cytology and Genetics at Novosibirsk State University.