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Posts Tagged ‘mice’

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Go to Bored Panda to see adorable mouse photographs collected by Skirmantė that could come straight from Beatrix Potter. Two Bad Mice, anyone?

Wikipedia’s entry on the children’s book author and naturalist says, “Born into a wealthy Unitarian family, Potter, along with her younger brother Walter Bertram (1872–1918), grew up with few friends outside her large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertram had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. …

“Beatrix was educated by three able governesses, the last of whom was Annie Moore (née Carter), just three years older than Beatrix … She and Beatrix remained friends throughout their lives and Annie’s eight children were the recipients of many of Potter’s delightful picture letters. It was Annie who later suggested that these letters might make good children’s books.

“In their school room Beatrix and Bertram kept a variety of small pets, mice, rabbits, a hedgehog and some bats, along with collections of butterflies and other insects which they drew and studied. Beatrix was devoted to the care of her small animals, often taking them with her on long holidays.”

I visited her home in the Lake District with my husband, and I read a biography of her. Like many girls of her time and social stature, she was a lonely child. But her creative genius filled her world with fully realized imaginary companions. And she seems to have had a satisfying adulthood preserving land in the Lake District and pursuing her natural history interests.

[Asakiyume: Thanks for putting the lead on Facebook.]

Photo: Miroslav Hlavko

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Mice find Verdi and Mozart more healing than Enya. Tom Jacobs at Miller-McCune (now called Pacific Standard) explains.

“Writing in the Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery,” he says, “a team of Japanese researchers led by Dr. Masanori Nimi describe an experiment in which a group of 8- to 12-week-old mice underwent heart transplants. The rodents were randomly assigned to one of five groups: those exposed to opera (a recording of Verdi’s La Traviata, conducted by Sir Georg Solti); instrumental music by Mozart; New Age music (The Best of Enya); no music; or ‘one of six different sound frequencies.’

“After one week, the mice whose personal soundtrack featured Enya, one of the sound frequencies, or no music at all ‘rejected their grafts acutely,’ the researchers report. …

“In contrast, those exposed to Verdi or Mozart ‘had significantly prolonged survival.’ …

“In explaining the results, the researchers point to the immune system. They report exposure to classical music generated regulatory cells, which suppress immune responses and are thus vital to preventing rejection of a transplanted organ. …

“In any event, this provides more evidence that classical music has a health-inducing impact on the body.” Read more.

Hmmm. You want to suppress your immune system when you have a transplant because you don’t want your body to reject an organ from a donor. But suppose you want a strong immune system for some other reason? Would classical music be bad for you (or a mouse) in that case? Hard to get my head around that one.

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