“Hamsters. They don’t get much respect.” So says Meg Tirrell, kicking off the latest episode of the Signal podcast, which is a tribute to the enduring legacy of the Chinese hamster. Or more specifically their ovaries. Did you know that “by one estimate from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 11 biotech drugs that are made using the ovary cells of these small rodents generated an incredible $57 billion in sales in 2013 alone.” For a rodent that was originally smuggled into the US in a scientist’s suitcase in 1948, that’s not bad going. Listen on to find out how these “cunning little animals” have changed the world of biotechnology.


More on these topics