White Rat

Laboratory rat

Laboratory rats are a type of brown rat that have been bred and kept for scientific research. They are a subspecies of Rattus norvegicus domestica, which is the same species as the common house rat. Laboratory rats are used in a variety of scientific experiments, including those related to behavior, genetics, physiology, and toxicology.

These animals are often used in medical research because they share many similarities with humans in terms of anatomy and physiology. In addition, laboratory rats can be easily bred and maintained in captivity, making them ideal for long-term studies. Furthermore, their short lifespan means that researchers can observe the effects of treatments over a relatively short period of time. As such, laboratory rats have become an invaluable tool for scientists studying various aspects of human health and disease.


In the 18th century, wild brown rats ran rampant in Europe and this infestation fueled the industry of rat-catching. Rat-catchers would make money by trapping the rodents and selling them for food or, more commonly, for rat-baiting. Rat-baiting was a popular sport which involved filling a pit with rats and timing how long it took for a terrier to kill them all. This activity may have led to variations in color, notably the albino and hooded varieties.

The first time one of these albino mutants was brought into a laboratory for study was in 1828 for an experiment on fasting. Over the next 30 years, rats were used for several more experiments and eventually became the first animal domesticated purely for scientific reasons. This marked an important milestone in animal research as it allowed scientists to study animals in controlled environments without having to capture them from their natural habitats. The laboratory rat has since become an invaluable tool in medical research and continues to be used today.

Use in research

The rat has been an important species in research since the early 1900s. W. S. Small suggested that the rate of learning could be measured by rats in a maze, which was employed by John B. Watson for his Ph.D dissertation in 1903. The first rat colony in America used for nutrition research was started in January 1908, and its historical importance to scientific research is reflected by the amount of literature on it, which is roughly 50% more than that on laboratory mice. Laboratory rats are frequently subject to various experiments and tests to further our understanding of biology and medicine, such as drug testing or genetic manipulation.

Rats have proven to be invaluable tools for researchers due to their short life cycle and high reproductive rate, allowing scientists to study multiple generations within a relatively short period of time. Additionally, they are relatively easy to maintain and breed in captivity compared to other species, making them ideal candidates for laboratory studies. Furthermore, their physiology is similar enough to humans that they can provide valuable insights into human health and disease processes without having to use human subjects directly. As such, rats have become indispensable components of modern scientific research and will continue to play an important role for many years to come.

Stocks and strains

Stocks and strains are terms used to describe the genetic makeup of a group of animals, usually rodents. A stock is a group of animals that have been bred over time to have similar characteristics, such as size, color, or behavior. Strain refers to a specific type of stock that has been further refined through selective breeding in order to produce animals with very specific traits. For example, in rats, strain is used to create animals with different coat colors or behaviors.

The process of creating stocks and strains involves careful selection and breeding of animals with desired traits. This can be done by selecting for certain physical characteristics or behaviors, or by introducing new genes into the population through crossbreeding. The result is a group of animals that are genetically similar and can be used for research purposes. Stocks and strains are important tools for scientists studying genetics and animal behavior because they allow them to control the environment in which their experiments take place. By using stocks and strains, researchers can ensure that all variables remain consistent throughout their studies.

Wistar rat

The Wistar rat is an outbred albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute in 1906. This breed was created to be used in biological and medical research, and is notable for being the first rat developed to serve as a model organism. More than half of all laboratory rat strains are descended from the original colony established by physiologist Henry Herbert Donaldson, scientific administrator Milton J. Greenman, and genetic researcher/embryologist Helen Dean King.

The Wistar rat is currently one of the most popular rats used for laboratory research due to its wide head, long ears, and a tail length that is always less than its body length. It has been used in many studies related to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, aging, and more. Additionally, it has been used in toxicology studies to assess drug safety and efficacy prior to human clinical trials. The Wistar rat is an important tool for advancing biomedical research due to its versatility and availability.

Long–Evans rat

The Long–Evans rat is an outbred rat developed by Drs. Long and Evans in 1915 by crossing several Wistar females with a wild gray male. They are white with either a black or brown hood, and are used as a multipurpose model organism for behavioral research, particularly in alcohol studies. Long-Evans rats consume alcohol at a much higher rate than other strains, which makes them ideal for these types of studies as they require less time to observe the effects of alcohol consumption.Long-Evans rats have been used in many different types of research, from studying the effects of drugs on behavior to understanding the mechanisms behind addiction and alcoholism. They have also been used to study learning and memory processes, as well as social behavior. In addition, they are often used in genetic studies due to their outbred nature, allowing researchers to study the effects of different genes on behavior more easily than with other strains. Overall, the Long-Evans rat has proven itself to be an invaluable tool for scientists studying various aspects of behavior and physiology.

Sprague Dawley rat

The Sprague Dawley rat is an outbred, multipurpose breed of albino rat that has been used extensively in medical and nutritional research. These rats are known for their calmness and ease of handling, making them ideal for laboratory studies. They typically have a longer tail in proportion to their body length than Wistar rats.Recently, the Sprague Dawley rat was involved in the Séralini affair, where it was claimed that the herbicide RoundUp increased the occurrence of tumors in these rats. However, since these rats are known to grow tumors at a high (and very variable) rate, the study was considered flawed in design and its findings unsubstantiated. This highlights the importance of conducting thorough research before drawing any conclusions from animal studies.

Biobreeding rat

The biobreeding rat, also known as the biobreeding diabetes-prone rat or BBDP rat, is an inbred strain of rats that spontaneously develops autoimmune type 1 diabetes. This strain has been used extensively as an animal model for Type 1 diabetes research due to its ability to replicate many of the features of human type 1 diabetes. The BBDP rat has been instrumental in helping researchers gain a better understanding of the pathogenesis of T1DM and how it progresses over time.

The BBDP rat is particularly useful because it can be used to study both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the development of T1DM. By studying this strain, researchers have been able to identify potential risk factors associated with T1DM and develop new treatments and therapies for those affected by the disease. Additionally, this strain has allowed researchers to gain insight into how diet, lifestyle, and other environmental factors can influence the progression of T1DM. Overall, the biobreeding rat has made a significant contribution to our understanding of Type 1 diabetes and continues to be an invaluable tool in furthering research on this condition.

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