There is no one who does not know the white rats since they are not rare and can easily be seen. The white rat is the common name, but the scientific name is the laboratory rat. The white rat is given the name of the laboratory rat because it is chiefly used in laboratories for doing researches in different fields such as psychology, medicines and other fields that require doing researches to get specific results. The white rat is considered to be very important since it has been used as an animal model and has helped scientists to find what they are looking for through the researches that they do on these beautiful rats. The question is why these white rats are the ones to be used for doing scientific researches, while the other rats in other colors are not used for the same purpose? It may be because the white rats are not disgusting like the colored and traditional rats that are sometime seen in the streets.
♦ When were the white rats first used in the laboratories?
The white rats or albino rats were first used for a study in a laboratory in 1828 and the experiment in which the albino rats were used was on fasting. The white rats started after that to be used in more experiments in different scientific fields to become more important and essential for most of the laboratories till today.
♦ Kept as a pet or for doing scientific researches
The white rats are not the only ones to be interesting in terms of the shape and color as there are also the hooded rats which may be catchier and more interesting for some people. Some rats are kept as pets such as the fancy rats that are the most common type of rats to be kept at homes as pets, while there are other rats that are more practical than just being kept as a pet such as the white rats. White rats are very important for doing scientific experiments in laboratories and this is why they are the first animals to be chiefly domesticated for a scientific purpose and not as pets.
♦ Rats are bred for different scientific purposes
The characteristics of white rats are not the same and this is why they are bred for different scientific purposes that can benefit science in general. For example, the Wistar rats are the first rats to be developed for becoming model organisms in laboratories instead of the common rats “house mice” that were used at that time and the Wistar rats are also among the most popular rats that are currently used in laboratories for doing scientific researches.
In addition to the Wistar rats, there are also the Lewis rats that suffer from many spontaneous pathologies, Sprague Dawley rats which are more used in medical researches, Biobreeding Diabetes Prone rats that are used as animal models for studying Type 1 diabetes, Long-Evans rats in behavioral and obesity researches, Zucker rats which are chiefly used in obesity researches, hairless rats for getting valuable information about genetic kidney diseases and immune systems and there is also the Shaking rat Kawasaki that suffers from a short deletion in the RELN gene.