Tsien was trying to learn how the gene--called NR2B--helps form memories, but there was a startling result: Tsien "manufactured" a strain of rodent Einsteins, nicknamed "Doogies" aider the know-it-all character on TV's Doogie Howser, M.
Tsien created his Doogies by injecting a group of mouse embryos, or fertilized eggs, with an extra copy of the NR2B gene.
But give him a series of "rodent SAT" tests that judge his ability to quickly learn and remember tasks--like repeatedly locating a hidden platform in a tank of murky water--and Doogie proves he's a genius.
Doogie inherited what some experts are calling the "smart" gene (hereditary instructions in all cells that determine everything from hair color to personality traits).
They were nicknamed Doogies after a character in the American TV show Doogie Howser, MD.
Doogies did far better than other mice in memory and learning tests.