Image of the Day: Mouse Tails
Image of the Day: Mouse Tails

Image of the Day: Mouse Tails

Genetic mutations create lab mice with unusually long and short tails.

Jan 24, 2019
Carolyn Wilke

ABOVE: This mouse embryo with cartilage stained blue has an unusually short tail due to genetic mutations.
AIRES ET AL., DEVELOPMENTAL CELL

Two teams of scientists made mice with unusually long and short tails. In one group’s attempt to make a mouse model of cancer using a particular gene, the scientists accidentally ended up with long-tailed mice that had extra vertebrae. The other group was working with a gene known to play a role in tail development and found that mutations led to shorter, fatter tails. The labs reported their results in two papers on January 17 in Developmental Cell

This mouse embryo with cartilage stained blue has an unusually long tail due to genetic mutations.
AIRES ET AL., DEVELOPMENTAL CELL

D.A. Robinton et al., “The Lin28/let-7 pathway regulates the mammalian caudal body axis elongation program,” Developmental Cell, doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.016, 2019.

R. Aires et al., “Tail bud progenitor activity relies on a network comprising Gdf11, Lin28, and Hox13 genes,” Developmental Cell, doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2018.12.004, 2019.