IMPC Overview

IMPC Overview


Maria has discovered evidence that a
particular gene may contribute to a disease in her research patients, but
what does that gene normally do? If it’s like most genes its role is probably not
very well understood Maria researches the gene in the
scientific literature and talks to her colleagues about it to find out what
they know. As it turns out very little is known about this gene but she needs more
to go on before she designs her study fortunately Maria can turn to the
International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium the IMPC to find freely
available information on what is known about the function of a gene. The IMPC
is a global network of leading scientific institutes and is supported
by public funding to help make research more efficient. We share 98% of our genes
with mice and can learn a lot about the connection between genes and disease by
studying mice that have had different genes switched off. With 20,000 genes to
study it’s too big a job for one laboratory so the IMPC coordinates
efforts among its members. Switching a gene off gives useful clues about what
it actually does in a living system. The IMPC generates knockout mice in which
particular genes are switched off and gathers a huge amount of information
about each Mouse, its genome, appearance and health for example, and makes this
information freely available to everyone. This saves scientists valuable time in
their research into disease and helps minimize the number of mice used in
research. Maria can use IMPC data and mice to investigate what may be
happening in patients with a particular disease
who may have an important gene switched off. Understanding the function of this
gene could help future patient screening and treatment. Learn how the IMPC can help your research at www.mousephenotype.org

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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