For Genes Author: Holly Ahern
For a geneticist, pinpointing a mutation in a human gene that might be responsible for an inherited disease can be likened to the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack. While mo-lecular biologists sift through the 3 billion base pairs in the human genome in search of disease-causing genes, other scientists choose to approach the problem from the perspective of the mouse, a model system for mammal research.
Because mice and humans are members of the same group of animals and develop similar diseases, mapping mouse mutations that appear to be linked to a genetic disease is considered by many scientists a springboard from which disease-causing genes in humans might also be mapped.
AMPLICOR LINE: Roche's kits have probes that bind to specific target sequences in pathogenic organisms. Whether experiments are performed with the human genome or with the mouse genome, locating a...