Tuesday, February 6, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, February 6, 2001

UH's cloned mice join Bishop Museum show

By Jennifer Hiller
Advertiser Staff Writer

Ten tiny cloned mice from the University of Hawaii — some of which glow fluorescent green — are being donated to the Bishop Museum and will go on display starting Sunday as part of a new exhibit called "X-treme Science, Exploring Oceans, Volcanoes and Outer Space."

University researchers in 1998 became the first in the world to clone several generations of a little brown mouse named Cumulina. Then, in 1999 they blended genetic information from mice and jellyfish to create the glowing, green mice.

Needless to say, these are no ordinary rodents.

"Not these mice," said Jessica Lani Rich, Bishop Museum public relations manager. "They have to be treated with kid gloves."

Because the university receives federal money for its animal research, it had to follow guidelines set by the National Institute of Health and the USDA for transporting the mice yesterday. The paperwork took about a week to set up, said Sylvia Kondo, a veterinarian with UH’s Lab Animal Services.

Federal guidelines were laid out, health certificates were issued and the Hawaii Department of Transportation got word of yesterday’s downtown migration.

These are, after all, "biological commodities."

"It’s just in case we get into an accident and we’re on the road and there’s all of these green, glowing mice running around," Kondo said. "We wanted to let them know."

The 10 mice, however, handled yesterday’s move in stride.

"They seemed happy," Kondo said. "We’re sending everything: a big bag of food, their bedding, water bottles and cages. We wanted them to be as comfortable as possible."

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