Monday, May 05, 2014

Lab Rats May Be Stressed By Men, Which May Skew Experiments

Rodents left alone in a room with a man, or presented with a T-shirt worn by a man, had a sharp spike in the stress hormone corticosterone. And because the hormone acts as an analgesic, they also showed less response to pain. The rodents showed no such reaction to women; they were also less stressed when given a woman’s shirt together with a man’s...The findings, published in Nature Methods, could have far-reaching repercussions for research. Rodents account for more than 95 percent of all lab animals, according to the National Association of Biomedical Research. If a researcher’s sex might affect results, it should be considered a confounding factor, Dr. Mogil said. more

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