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    “The Case for Female Mice,” by Catherine Caruso

    Harvard Medical School  
    The Robert G. Fenley Writing Awards: Basic Science Staff Writing 

    This news article reports a finding that goes against a long-held belief in neuroscience: Male mice are more reliable models for studying human behavior, because they lack female hormonal cycles. The study found that female mice are not just as good as but are actually better models than males for this field. The story covers the work involved in the study, explains important aspects of how basic science is conducted, and describes how leaving out female mice from neuroscience studies represents a research bias that affects human health equity. The article was posted in March 2023. 
    What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience? 
    We learned that many nonscientists aren’t aware of and are interested to know about the decisions that go into selecting mice for scientific studies, and how those choices affect how applicable the results are to all people. 
    What challenge did you overcome? 
    The challenge we overcame was keeping the story focused on the science without delving into the potentially contentious topics of hormones and sex and gender in humans. 
    Contact: Stephanie Dutchen