April 29, 2014 | Anna D

A rat scurrying nearby makes me feel a bit panicked. The feeling isn't mutual though - it turns out mice and rats feel comfortable around me!

Scientists have found that rodents used in research get stressed when they can smell a man. Stress alters how the animals feel pain, so male scientists could accidentally skew the results of medical research.

It's wrong to knowingly stress animals. They're important to research, but I think we should think carefully about who runs these studies in the future.

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Rat being held by researcher

The smell of a man causes stress in mice and rats - but if a woman is also present they seem unaffected.

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Image: Flickr/NovartisAG

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