Since the publication of the first edition of the Biology of the Laboratory Mouse in 1941, a large amount of new information appropriate for inclusion in such a book has accumulated. Mice have been used in increasing numbers as materials for investigations of basic issues in biology and as model systems for studying diseases and processes related to human health. In particular, there hasbeen a great increase in the use of inbred strains, an increase in the number and use of stocks carrying named mutant genes, and an increase in awareness on the part of most biologists of the importance of hereditary factors in determining the characteristics of organisms. The second edition has been written to summarize the studies with mice published in the years since the first edition and to record much new information not previously published. In keeping with the trend toward use of genetically controlled stocks, the emphasis throughout the book is upon genetic variations of mice and their exploitation for the solution of biological problems.
The second edition follows somewhat the same plan as the first but is much enlarged. The passages on histology and early embryology havebeen changed little, but nearly all the other parts have been completely rewritten, most of them by different authors. The thirty-three chapters may be grouped into several sections. Chapters 1 to 6 introduce the reader to the techniques of husbandry and to genetic nomenclature. Chapters 7 to 10 give information about the genetics, including an alphabetical catalogue of the named mutations. Chapters 11 to 15 deal with the antomy, development, and reporductive physiology of mice; 16 to 21 with physiology and biochemistry; 22 to 25 with the responses of mice to radiation, drugs, and foreign tissues; and 26 to 31 with pathological conditions and immune functions. The final two chapters, 32 and 33, deal with behavioral traits. In every chapter the authors'objective has been to provide the reader with a summary of the known facts and an introduction to the earlier literature. In most cases the references are not intended to be exhaustive, but are extensive enough to allow the reader to find his way into the older literature if he so desires.
Many topics had to be omitted entirely. These include experimental embryology, organogenesis, late responses to radiation, responses to stresses other than radiation and drugs, and induced tumors. A list of characteristics of inbred strains of mice is not included, but publications in which lists are found are given in Chapter 1.
The authors were supported by a variety of sources of funds while writing the manuscript. These sources are individually acknowledged in a footnote on the first page of each chapter.
An undertaking of this magnitude is impossible without the devoted and conscientious assistance of many people with many different talents. The Section Editors, whose names appear on the title page, served as advisors to the Editor while the outlines and arrangements of all chapters werebeing developed, as readers and critics of the chapters in their respective sections, and as critical reviewers of the entire manuscript before final revisions. In addition to the Section Editors, Dr. Katharine P. Hummel and Dr. Edwin D. Murphy also helped me, especially on questions about the contents of chapters and about the illustrations. Dr. Gunther Schlager devised a method of constructing the index by use of punched cards. Mrs. Eunice U. Fahey handled the successive outlines and drafts of all the chapters and scrutinized hundreds of pages of text for accuracy of notations, symbols, spelling, and the like.
I am happy to record my indebtedness to Isabelle Stover, Lillian Runstuk, Josephine Foley, Florence Smith, Dencie Anthony, Rita Richard, Jennie Jenkins, Dorothy Killam, Jeannette Cleaves, and Bernice Sylvester who collectively typed successive versions of the chapters and to Ann Schlager who prepared the index cards. I appreciate the diligent efforts of George C. McKay, Jr., and of Ruth M. Soper in preparing the photographs and the drawings for the figures.
Finally, I am grateful to a number of people whose contribution to the book is less specific but not less significant. This group includes Dale J. Foley, Alan P. Russell, George T. Vose, Austin C. Carter, and Robert E. Thieiault. They made it possible for the Editor, the section Editors, and the authors to complete their tasks.
Bar Harbor, March, 1966