In the post-genomic era, the laboratory mouse will excel as a premier mammalian system to study normal and disordered biological processes, in part because of low cost, but largely because of the rich opportunities that exist for exploiting genetic tools and technologies in the mouse to systematically determine mammalian gene function. Many robust models of human disease may therefore be developed, and these in turn will provide critical clues to understanding gene function. The full potential of the mouse for understanding many of the neural and behavioral phenotypes of relevance to neuroscientists has yet to be realized. With the full anatomy of the mouse genome at hand, researchers for the first time will be able to move beyond traditional gene-by-gene approaches and take a global view of gene expression patterns crucial for neurobiological processes. In response to an action plan for mouse genomics developed on the basis of recommendations from the scientific community, seven institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiated in 1999 a mouse genetics research program that specifically focused on neurobiology and complex behavior. The specific goals of these neuroscience initiatives are to develop high-throughput phenotyping assays and to initiate genome-wide mutagenesis projects to identify hundreds of mutant strains with heritable abnormalities of high relevance to neuroscientists. Assays and mutants generated in these efforts will be made widely available to the scientific community, and such resources will provide neuroscientists unprecedented opportunities to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of neural function and complex behavior. Such research tools ultimately will permit the manipulation and analysis of the mouse genome, as a means of gaining insight into the genetic bases of the mammalian nervous system and its complex disorders.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 18, 2014
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