A monument to lab mice

This photo, from a site apparently called 9gag, is labeled as “In Novosibirsk there is a monument to all the lab mice who lost their lives in DNA research”.



h/t: Arno M.


  1. Alexey
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    The DNA chirality is wrong 🙂

  2. Evil.Erik
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    That is rather lovely and touching. Not that I have a problem with animal experimentation when done ethically. A fitting tribute though.

  3. Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if it’s mouse-sized. It’s hard to tell from the photo.

  4. John H. McDonald
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Am I really the first pedant to point out that the DNA is spiralling the wrong way?

    • Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Blame that on the Siberian winds. 🙂

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      For some pedants, a spiral is a figure in two dimensions. Thus both DNA and staircases are helices.

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      I don’t mean to be pedantic but DNA isn’t actually knitted by giant, near-sighted rodents.

      • Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure the mice get their eyesight tested yearly.

    • Posted January 19, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Southern hemisphere? 🙂

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Actually, It’s in the university campus, about 10km south of Novisibirsk centre. I’m not quite sure where, but there’s a “Prospekt Akademika Kortyuga” which has a suspicious looking wide “median” between the traffic lanes, between the Genetics institute and the Geological museum. And on the third side of the nearby junction, the nuclear physics institute. (Files information in braincell for future visits to Siberia.)

  5. Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Where are the monuments for lab rabbits, dogs, monkeys, etc.?

    What about monuments for all the human beings who have been subjected to tests “for science” with or without their knowledge?

  6. DrBrydon
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    It’s rather whimsical.

  7. alexandra Moffat
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I have hoped for years that when a new medical concept or device or whatever is announced, with encomiums for the great doctors, scientists and all who made it possible, there could be a very quiet, very brief verbal nod to all the animals whose lives were “given” in pursuit of all the wondrous and life-saving efforts to improve human lives.
    I have an animal rights POV but since I have benefitted from research involving animals (who hasn’t) I cannot play the hypocrite and denounce animal use in research. Yet I do think it’s a huge humane dilemma and can be sorted out as we learn more about substitutions. ASAP. Meanwhile, the conditions under which lab animals are kept should be monitored and improved, they should be retired to sanctuaries and they should be noted and saluted with gratitude and empathy.

    Love the mouse statue – the artist deserves a salute!

    • somer
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink


    • Posted January 20, 2017 at 1:04 am | Permalink

      I have an equality POV but, since I have benefited from systemic racism, I cannot play the hypocrite and denounce racism?

  8. Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    This delightful sculpture is at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Russian Academy of Science in Novosibirsk. This is a famous institute, well-known for the work of Dmitri Belyaev on genetic changes in domestication of foxes. It has also been the site of an excellent computational molecular evolution group which conducted many first-rate studies in the 1980s under the leadership of Professor Vadim Ratner. After barriers to contact with international work fell in the late 1980s, members of this excellent group such as Andrey Zharkikh and Andrey Rzhetsky did important work in the West as well.

    There were a number of other first-rate labs in that institute, but I know less of their work.

  9. Syfer
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful sculpture, and a charming way to honor lab mice.
    They should put the research their usage contributed to(I suppose the sculpture is in front of a research institute) in the description, hopefully this would help explain to some people why we need lab animals.

  10. Mary L
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of Yoda.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted January 19, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Me too.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Star Wars fans have an attack of the vapours at the idea of experimenting on Yoda. Never having seen the movie, but does Palpitine have an evil cackle and rub his hands in a Yoda-throttling way? [Performs Palpitine cackle and gesture]

  11. Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Mary L is right, reminds me of yoda

  12. W.Benson
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    A Mouse’s Petition (1773)
    A poem by Ana Laetitia Aiken to Dr. Joseph Priestly
    [‘Found in the TRAP where he had been confin’d all Night’]

    OH! hear a pensive captive’s prayer,
    For liberty that sighs;
    And never let thine heart be shut
    Against the prisoner’s cries.

    For here forlorn and sad I sit,
    Within the wiry grate;
    And tremble at th’ approaching morn,
    Which brings impending fate.

    If e’er thy breast with freedom glow’d,
    And spurn’d a tyrant’s chain,
    Let not thy strong oppressive force
    A free-born mouse detain.

    Oh! do not stain with guiltless blood
    Thy hospitable hearth;
    Nor triumph that thy wiles betray’d
    A prize so little worth.

    The scatter’d gleanings of a feast
    My scanty meals supply;
    But if thine unrelenting heart
    That slender boon deny,

    The cheerful light, the vital air,
    Are blessings widely given;
    Let nature’s commoners enjoy
    The common gifts of heaven.

    The well taught philosophic mind
    To all compassion gives;
    Casts round the world an equal eye,
    And feels for all that lives.

    If mind, as ancient sages taught,
    A never dying flame,
    Still shifts thro’ matter’s varying forms,
    In every form the same,

    Beware, lest in the worm you crush
    A brother’s soul you find;
    And tremble lest thy luckless hand
    Dislodge a kindred mind.

    Or, if this transient gleam of day
    Be all of life we share,
    Let pity plead within thy breast,
    That little all to spare.

    So may thy hospitable board
    With health and peace be crown’d;
    And every charm of heartfelt ease
    Beneath thy roof be found.

    So when unseen destruction lurks,
    Which men like mice may share,
    May some kind angel clear thy path,
    And break the hidden snare.

    • Posted January 19, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

      Wow. Wonderful poem.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Well if we’re quoting poetry, here’s one of the less well known verses from the Bard, who’ll be celebrated shortly in the annual haggis-fest (must remember to get some decent haggis in myself. Widdershins not turnwise. Can’t be abiding tunrwise haggis.)
      But to words !
      Thy wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
      Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
      Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
      But house or hald,
      To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
      An' cranreuch cauld!

  13. grasshopper
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    So lachrymose did i become on seeing the statue that I shed many mouseketeers.
    Somewhere in one of the four volumes of the three part trilogy “Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” Douglas Adams has this to say about mice.

    “Earthman, the planet you lived on was commissioned, paid for, and run by mice. It was destroyed five minutes before the completion of the purpose for which it was built, and we’ve got to build another one.”
    Only one word registered with Arthur.
    “Mice?” he said.
    “Indeed Earthman.”
    “Look, sorry – are we talking about the little white furry things with the cheese fixation and women standing on tables screaming in early sixties sit coms?”
    Slartibartfast coughed politely.
    “[…] These creatures you call mice, you see, they are not quite as they appear. They are merely the protrusion into our dimension of vast hyperintelligent pandimensional beings. The whole business with the cheese and the squeaking is just a front.”
    The old man paused, and with a sympathetic frown continued.
    “They’ve been experimenting on you, I’m afraid.”

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I used to read that to the Guinea pig colony. They never rose up in laser-wielding pan-dimensional revolution.

  14. Mike
    Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Love , Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, and love the statue also.

  15. Leigh Jackson
    Posted January 19, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Ten years ago I marched through Oxford in support of a new animal research laboratory which was being built in the teeth of a vicious campaign of intimidation and violence by animal rights activists culminating in the imprisonment of the campaign’s leader for planning and setting off fire-bombs.

    I also engaged online to combat anti-vivisection inspired propaganda claiming that animal research was not only performed by heartless sadists but was scientifically worthless. I wouldn’t mind seeing a statue of Laurie Pycroft, outside the laboratory.

    • Posted January 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      This is a noble cause, and you have done a great job! But I’d feel awkward about a statue of a living person.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        So if I were to encase Donald Smallhands in plaster of Paris to make him into a (briefly) living statue … you’d object?

        • Posted January 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          This is against my principles but fits my base emotions well, so I will hypocritically turn my back and pretend to have seen nothing :-).

  16. Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Fascinating. Of course, with it being in central Asia I’m not likely to visit any time soon. (And also it takes me forever to find a suitable landmark when zooming out the map. :))

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