• Question: Hello! Why do you study blood vessel in humans and mice? Is there a link between the two circulatory systems or vessels?

    Asked by KittyKat to Majid on 17 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Majid Ahmed

      Majid Ahmed answered on 17 Mar 2016:

      Hi KittyKat,

      Good question. The circulatory system in humans and mice are very similar in general (which is also true of a number of other animals and humans). Believe it or not, our genetic material is about 92% identical to that of mice. So an 8% difference in genes is what separates us from being mice. That’s pretty crazy right?

      Another reason we use mice is because they are easier to get blood vessels from because we can breed them, feed them and house them here in our special animal facility at the University of Manchester, so that we can use them when we need to get blood vessels for our experiments. If we used just human vessels, then we would have to take lots of samples from humans. This be very hard because people don’t often easily offer to give us tissue so that we can look at them. So if we did just have human tissue, we could only experiment a few times a month and this would really slow down our research.

      Instead, we use mouse tissue to do our investigations, and then once we will confirm the findings that we have seen in mice in blood vessels taken from humans. This is a much more logical, ethical and cost-effective way to do research.