Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mouse genomic variation and its effect on phenotypes and gene regulation

This research team sequenced the genomes of 17 different mouse strains, creating the largest genetic database for any vertebrate organism. 56.6 million SNPs were identified in the mouse genome, and some of these mutations have been related to various disease phenotypes including heart disease and diabetes. Since mice are used in a lot of research for human disease and cancer, it is important to understand their genome and the mutations involved in order to relate this research to human disease. Now, researchers will be able to use a programmed computer mouse, instead of actual mice, to study mutations and particular genetic diseases. One of the researchers, Ian Jackson, said that this study "is transforming our understanding of how DNA sequence variation relates to gene function, and ultimately its association with biology and human health."

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