The ability to create transgenic animals – or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – has revolutionized research. Transgenic mice are becoming an increasingly popular lab animal, as they are well-suited to many experiments and provide a valuable counterpart to the use of human cells in scientific studies.
What is the transgenic mouse?
A transgenic mouse is a type of genetically engineered mouse. It is created by adding a gene to an existing mouse, which creates an animal that can then be studied. To create the mice, scientists use a virus to insert new genes into the DNA of a fertilized egg. Once the new gene has been inserted, it will then be passed on from generation to generation. The genes may come from different species, such as humans and mice.
What are some of the options for generating transgenic mice?
Transgenic mice are created by introducing a gene of interest into an animal, usually a mouse. There are two main ways to do this: homologous recombination and random integration. Homologous recombination is when the gene is inserted close to the same genes in the mouse genome. Random integration is when it can be anywhere in the genome. The result will be a creature that has a human genes and mouse genes.
How do you use transgenic mice for research?
Transgenic mice are used for research into human diseases, such as the study of the effects of drugs on mouse models of human diseases. The most common type of experiment is to inject a virus with DNA that codes for a particular protein into fertilized mouse eggs. These eggs are then grown in a laboratory and then implanted into a female mouse that will carry the babies to term and give them birth.
The work of scientists has led to great improvements in animal welfare. There are many laws and regulations that have been enacted to protect animals. Transgenic mice are only used when they are helpful to mankind.