Rats are often chosen over mice when they are studied and experimented upon in laboratories for physiology, immunology, learning, behavior, nutrition and toxicology (which is a branch of science that concerns with the nature, detections and effects of poisons). This is somewhat because they are larger and thus procedures and handling is easier, doubled then by the fact that they have larger brains than mice. Scientists are also more familiar with rats, and the effects, results and pathways they are taken to. After this, rats have enabled the development of a large amount of complex learning and conditioning theories.
Their ability to learn, and to be taught in stimulus to press buttons and levers, has given them an advantage over mice as well. They are prevalent in biomedical research second only to humans, and they share 90% of the genome with them.
Well-established strains of rat are used to study a number of human diseases, including cancer. These strains were accomplished throughout a number of different processes, and the result was successful. Some rats were fed a high salt diet, and the animals were bred on the basis of blood pressure either increasing or remaining normal. This proved salt sensitivity to be an inherited trait, and that similar factors applied in the human race.
Several procedures which rats underwent in laboratories included maze performance, which was liable to practice memory tasks. The radial arm maze is a circle of doors in which a rat is set and based upon memory in the fact that it must figure out what doors led to unexplored passages, and the doors behind which they had already ventured.
Even house mice, whom have stolen for generations from humans, have paid back a thousandfold for revealing many of biology’s secrets yet undiscovered by scientists. They have participated in advancing medical goals, including the understanding of the functional parts of the genome, modeling the study of human disease and developing the genomic-based therapy applied to diseases in humans.
In this way, rats are killed in experimental procedures and have been known to get Alzheimer’s for the sake of science studying forgetfulness in diseases. Rats remain crucial in the understanding of human diseases, but replicating the diseases in rats will not be certain to provide the same results as in humans.