Mosaic Mouse Technique Offers A Powerful New Tool To Study Diseases And Genetics

A powerful laboratory technique used by fruit fly geneticists for more than a decade is now available to scientists studying genes and diseases in mice. Writing in the May 6 edition of the journal Cell, researchers from Stanford University describe a streamlined method for creating a "genetic mosaic mouse"--a rodent whose body is genetically engineered to produce small clusters of cells with mutated genes. The new technique, called Mosaic Analysis with Double Markers (MADM), was developed in the laboratory of Liqun Luo, professor of biological sciences at Stanford who was recently named an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "With MADM, you can look at a tiny subset of cells and study gene function at a very high resolution," says Luo, who also is affiliated with the Neuroscience Institute at the Stanford School of Medicine. "Our method can be used to study a variety of tissues, such as the skin, heart and nervous system."

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