Numbers of Publications Related to Laboratory Animals
Laboratory animals are widely utilized in biomedical research, so a search of scientific publications can give us useful information on the use of animals. We retrieved the PubMed biomedicine database and searched for publications related to laboratory animals from 1966 to 2005. We found that rats and mice constitute the vast majority of species used in biomedical research; C57BL and BABL/c inbred mice, and Sprague Dawley and Wistar outbred rats are the most common strains. Recently, the numbers of publications relating to traditionally used animals such as rats, guinea pigs, dogs, cats, and sheep decreased slightly, whereas the numbers relating to mice, fish, Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans increased from 1995 to 2005, with annual mean growth rates of 4.5%, 8.22%, 1.95%, and 10.3%, respectively. Publications involving transgenic mice increased dramatically from the mid-1980s. This survey provides significant clues for predicting the future direction of biomedical research.