Mice have been used in genetic research for decades. This is mostly due to the face that they have a 95% genetic similarity to humans. Though this is extraordinarily close, the 5% gap tends to produce many hurdles when trying to use mice to determine patterns in the human genome. This comparison is done by the technique called gene mapping which is an extremely tedious and difficult process, but can have some very powerful results if done correctly. Scientists at Tei Aviv University are trying to close this 5% gap by making mice more genetically diverse, allowing for them to became genetically even more similar to humans. This is going to be done through an international process called “Collaborative Cross”. The goal is to create 1,000 different strains of mice with a fixed genotype. THe goal here is to take the 10-15 years it takes to accurately identify and work with a gene and shrink it to only 2-3 years which is an outstanding improvement if it can be accomplished. Hopefully, scientists will be able to accomplish working with genes up to 5 times faster than they are right now. This work has been published in Nature, Nature Genetics, and Genome Research, and receives most of its funding from the group “The Wellcome Trust” based in the United Kingdom. The goal is to use these mice to effectively research conditions such as cancers, diabetes, obesity, along with other conditions and mutations. Professor Iraqi, the leading man in this experiment, states that the mice will be available all over the world and available to order by researchers.
Where there’s a human, there’s a mouse. A house mouse to be exact. ScienceDaily posted an article displaying the “road trip” that house mice have taken with humans. By using genetic techniques on both ancestral and present day mitochondrial DNA from these mice, scientists were able to trace the timeline of mouse history.
It has been discovered that mouse colonization follows that of Viking colonization. When comparing mitochondrial DNA from mice from the Vikings time, approximately 10th to the 12th century, to present day samples, we are able to see the path these little hitchhikers took to get where they are today. Starting from Norway or the British Isles, they made there way, via Viking transportation, into Iceland and then into Greenland. In the article, a Dr. Eleanor Jones says that, “Human settlement history over the last 1000 years is reflected in the genetic sequence of mouse mitochondrial DNA. We can match the pattern of human populations to that of the house mice.”