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I Castrated a Mouse

April 18, 2009   

One of the recent Vertebrate Physiology Labs involved performing a gonadectomy on mice. The purpose of this lab was to see the effects of gonadotropin on mouse body weight and organ develop…you know what, no, I can’t do this.

I cut off balls.

The worse thing about the lab was that Professor Gapp, God save him, has been cutting off balls for thirty years. Cutting off balls for thirty years is like working at a death camp for thirty years. You get used to it after awhile but it leaves you desensitized to even the most barbarous horror.

Professor Gapp’s lab preparation: “Today you’re cutting off balls. Have at it, I’m going to get coffee.”

I don’t know if you’ve ever done surgery before, but even the most rudimentary incisions require a good deal of finesse and peace of mind, things that I didn’t really have because I kept reflexively bending over to protect my crotch because I WAS CUTTING OFF BALLS.


The good news is I didn’t have the heart to completely castrate the mouse. I only gave him a unilateral gonadectomy. Apparently this leads to compensatory growth by the other one. Wrecking ball.

Today’s Shout-Out! goes to Stephen Shen (2009). Stephen Shen had absolutely nothing to do with this lab, which makes him a good man.