In 2004, the lab rat became the latest animal to spill its genetic secrets, and after man and mouse, was the third mammal to have its genome sequenced. This will further raise the rat's high profile in medical research, where it is the second most commonly used mammal after the mouse. Over the last century, the rat's image has been transformed from plague carrier to indispensable tool in experimental medicine and drug development. Rats have frequently been used in research focusing on cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders, spinal injury, stroke, diabetes, surgery, transplantation, auto-immune disorders, cancer and bone healing. In drug development, the rat is routinely used to test the efficacy and safety of potential medicines prior to human clinical trials. [305,139]

See AnimalResearch.info on rats and GM rats