Scientists seem to care a great deal about the health and well being of mice. Thousands of men and women with PhD’s dedicate their lives to helping mice suffering from a dozen varieties of cancer, diabetes, obesity, forms of autism and much, much more. These scientists awake in the middle of the night with bold new ideas. They dream of, if not grandeur, at least consequence, being the one to rush in at the last moment and bring an ailing rodent from the throws of death back to a healthy life. “Stand back,” you can almost hear them saying, “I know mouth to mouse.”

Of course, the thing about the scientists who cure mice is that after curing them they almost always kill them. Also, most scientists who study mice are not really interested in mice. In fact, it is usually the scientists who have made the mice sick in the first place, in our image so to speak. They give the mice the diseases that plague us so that in curing them they might also understand how to make us well.

The good news is that these diligent scientists sometimes really do figure out how to heal the mice. When they do, sometimes we really do begin to understand ourselves. Such may be the case in a recent study of probiotics.

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