The Mouse Passport
A mouse passport is a document that records information about Genetically Altered (GA) mice and is shared between animal houses sending and receiving GA mice. These mice have special care and health needs because of their genetic make-up. The mouse passport is a tool to make sure that animal technicians and vets responsible for caring for these mice can access information about what these mice are like and how best to care for them.
In the Mouse Exchange, we ask mouse makers to complete a passport about their mouse. It was evolved over time from a simple, two-question prompt to a more detailed form that includes data like the mouse’s name, place and date of birth as well as information about their phenotype (what they look like), character, and instructions for their care, including who they want to care for them. We also ask makers about their hopes and expectations about the future of their mouse.
By collecting the passports alongside their mice, we are putting together an archive that preserves the mice but also, in a small, creative way, records of the makers’ engagement with them as beings to be cared for as well as scientific resources. Together, the mouse and the passport make up the primary units of the Mouse Exchange and embody something of the experience after the event is complete.