They are a commonly used model organism for studying different processes in humans, as they can mimic human diseases pretty well.
It is also the first mammalian species that was utilised for sceintific reserach, hence is the the most extensively used model animal in research.
It is a conveneient model organism due to its smaller size, rapid life cycle, similarity to humans and they are relatively affordable. There are also a large number of mutants available and you can even manipulate the genome.
They have been used for a vast array of research including aging, addiction, cancer, genomics, cardiovascular diseases and many more.
- ↑ DNA Learning Centre. Rat (Rattus norvegicus). [Cited 22/10/2018]. Available from: https://www.dnalc.org/view/1717-Rat-Rattus-norvegicus-.html
- ↑ Genome Research. Functional Genomics and Rat Models. [Cited 22/10/18]; Available at: https://genome.cshlp.org/content/9/11/1013.full.html