Knockout rats have arrived

Scientists have created a knockout rat that finally opens the model organism to the kinds of experiments that have only been possible in mice and some non-mammalian species, they report online today (August 11) in Nature. Image: Wikimedia commons, Janet Stephens "We're finally going to enable genetic manipulation in the most widely studied and well characterized animal model of human disease," said molecular geneticist linkurl:Aron Geurts;http://www.mcw.edu/HMGC/Laboratories/AG.htm of the Medic

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Aug 10, 2010
Scientists have created a knockout rat that finally opens the model organism to the kinds of experiments that have only been possible in mice and some non-mammalian species, they report online today (August 11) in Nature.
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Janet Stephens
"We're finally going to enable genetic manipulation in the most widely studied and well characterized animal model of human disease," said molecular geneticist linkurl:Aron Geurts;http://www.mcw.edu/HMGC/Laboratories/AG.htm of the Medical College of Wisconsin, who was not involved in the research. "That's very exciting to everyone." Rats have long been a popular model system for many aspects of biomedical research, but when it came to genetic manipulation, the mouse was the system of choice. "We use the mouse because that technology was well developed and was being refined so as to allow us to make more and more sophisticated and specific alterations," said cancer biologist linkurl:Tyler Jacks;http://web.mit.edu/jacks-lab/index.html of Massachusetts Institute of...
C. elegansDrosophilaC. Tong, et al., "Production of p53 gene knockout rats by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells," Nature, AOP, doi:10.1038/nature09368, 2010.



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