A species of rodent has been discovered with a menstrual cycle bearing a striking resemblance to that found in human females.
A bunch of Australian researchers have found a rodent the females of which have a menstrual cycle resembling those of the human female. This is an indicator of the use of such rodents for future experiments having to do with female reproductive analysis.
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While mice are commonly studied in labs as substitutes for human beings, the two are worlds apart in real life. This particular rodent however may bridge the gap as far as female reproductive functioning is concerned.
Experiments on mice lead to finding out more about human diseases and their amelioration. Up until now no mice had been found, the female of which had a reproductive system similar to human beings.
Yet now that problem has been solved with the discovery of this species. These new variety of mice are called spiny rodents and their females have nine day cycles with bleeding for three days.
This is thus a pattern of bleeding for 20% to 40% of their total cycle, according to Phys.org. While the human female cycle is lengthier (28 days) the number of days that bleeding continues is similar (15% to 35%). Thus the two match each other, one being a replica of the other.
It had been thought previously that mice didn’t have any menstrual cycles. Now that the scientists have carefully studied these rodents in a close-up manner, they know better.
Besides observation, which is the basic tool of science, a recording of the activities of the female mice took place on an extensive basis. Also the scientists cleaned out the vaginas of the female mice with water and counted the number of bleeding episodes.
There was also a control group of female mice that were from a species that did not menstruate. So there was hardly any margin for error. Also many of the rodents were killed and dissected during their menstrual cycles to observe the state of their uteri.
The genome of spiny mice has been sequenced so it will come in handy in finding out more regarding what genes cause the menstrual activity to go into hyperdrive.
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More studies still need to be done regarding spiny mice. Not all of the data is in just yet. However, this species of rodent is a boon to science thanks to its menstrual cycle bearing such an uncanny resemblance to the periodic waxing and waning of female menses in humans.