SCIENTISTS have combined a mouse with a giant ear on its back and a mouse with spider’s legs to produce a small, cute creature with an inordinate fondness for cheese.
Dr Wayne Hayes, a geneticist at Dundee University, said it was the first time researchers had produced a mouse without major physical or mental deformities under laboratory conditions.
He said the remarkable creature, nicknamed Mickey, would provide startling new insights into why humans eat cheese, after which it would be set free to run around the floor to provide startling new insights into why cats eat mice.
Dr Hayes said: “We have mice here with giant Kenny Everett hands, we have one that likes to wear panties even though it is a man mouse, and we even have one which has the face of Groucho Marx, although it lacks his sense of comic timing.
“However, this is the first time, as far as we are aware, that anyone working in a British university has managed to produce a mouse of normal proportions that sits around washing its whiskers and nibbling cheddar. It’s amazing.”
Dr Hayes said the mouse’s behaviour would now be studied as the team sought to get to grips with why it was that cheese was so attractive to humans. “We think it might have something to do with the taste, but in science you can’t just rely on a hunch,” he added.
He said the mouse had been discovered by accident after his team had attempted to manufacture one capable of producing an accurate weather forecast and playing roulette.