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Close-up: Useful Vermin

The modified medical mice of an esteemed but oft-overlooked New York institution.


Photographs by Catherine Chalmers

One hundred thousand of the world’s most valuable rodents live on York Avenue as residents of Rockefeller University, whose relative obscurity among the city’s higher-learning establishments belies its elite status in the medical community. (Twenty-three Nobel laureates have done work at the school, which doesn’t offer undergrad degrees.) A few of its more cooperative mice—and one rat—recently took turns in front of our cameras.


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