A rat hospital was officially put into operation on March 29, 2008 in Shanghai. The hospital is designed with a range of functionalities, including operation, delivering (3969 "beds"), patient ward (15183 "beds"), test, pathology, radiology, and neurosciences, and equipped with an array of modern test instruments for automatic blood cell analysis, live rat imaging, CT, and bone density scanning. Here researchers can perform diverse operations on rats, including grafting a human gene to a rat, or cutting off a specific gene from more than 20,000 genes possessed by a rat. Of course, the operation is not meant to be a treatment, but to let rats be affected with human diseases, or let them lose their memory or become addicted to drugs. Even hepatitis B viruses that only travel between humans and chimpanzees can be passed to rats.
As a project under the financing of National S&T Infrastructure Program for the 11th Five-year period, the rat hospital is established to produce 150 rat models bearing conditional genes that may produce human diseases for genetic function studies, new drug development, and pathogenesis studies.