In the years since the ARRIVE guidelines were developed in 2010 to standardize how animal studies are reported, researchers still don't frequently report the age and sex of lab mice used in their experiments, Nature News reports.
Researchers from the University of Manchester developed a software program to sift through more than 15,000 open-access papers published between 1994 and 2014. They were on the lookout for terms in the text that indicated whether the researchers reported the age and sex of lab mice used and, if they did, what they were.
According to Nature News, only about half of the papers examined recorded both. Further, some fields appeared to preferentially turn to certain mice. Cardiovascular studies tended to rely on male mice, while infectious disease studies used females, it notes. The results are to be in eLife.
Interestingly, the study also revealed that the recording of animal studies improved throughout the 1990s and 2000s, but began to level out in 2010, just when the guidelines were released.