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You're missing one of the other huge factors in why mice and rats are used for experiments: lifetime. These animals (esp. mice) have very, very short lifetimes by human standards, so you don't have to wait around for decades to see how something affects the animal over its whole lifespan. This is especially useful for aging research: it doesn't take very long for mice to become "elderly", so you can test out anti-aging experiments on them. Doing this on humans, even if it were totally legal, would be very slow because it'll take you 70+ years to grow a human in a lab to old age. Mice can only live a few years at most.

Yeah, and unlike something like a fruit fly, which also has a short lifespan, mice are mammals, so they are still fairly close to us in the animal kingdom, relatively speaking.

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