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Knock In Mice Vs Transgenic Mice

Last Updated on August 14, 2020 by ingenious

Knock-in Mice vs. Transgenic Mice – What You Need to Know

Transgenic and knock-in mice have existed for years. As the methods used to generate them continue to advance, more and more impressive research studies make use of these mouse models to help genetic researchers come up with new treatments and drugs. Whether it’s debilitating diseases like cancer or heart disease, or just mild allergies and other disorders than can impair daily life, genetic research aims to find better solutions and treatments. For that purpose, a variety of genetically modified animal models are used to unlock the secrets of the genome. Most of these are mice as their DNA is very similar to human DNA, making it easier to find similar or even identical genes to test. Knock-in and transgenic mice are just two of many types of genetically modified mice frequently used in research.

First of all, it’s important to understand what knock-in and transgenic mice are and how they relate to each other. They are by no means identical, or even similar in many respects. While knock-in mice are designed to help scientists explore the possibilities of what might happen when a particularly targeted gene’s function is inactivated, genetic impairment in transgenic mice is more randomized. Because transgenic models use what is called “random integration,” researchers have very little control over where the desired gene actually ends up within the host genome. There is no mechanism in place to target a specific locus, which is what happens when knock-in mice are generating through the loxP and Cre recombinase method. Through the latter technique, it’s possible to precisely target the space that the newly introduced gene will occupy once the genetic mutation is complete.

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It’s important to note that both in transgenic and knock-in mouse models, the species from which the foreign genetic material comes from can differ from that of the original mouse. There is no reason why the new gene should be “compatible” with the mouse, so the level of freedom and accuracy associated with knock-ins is quite impressive. Theories that can now be proven as true or false could not even have been explored before knock-in mice became prominent. Across the internet, it’s easy to find studies and news articles that mention how certain knock-in mouse models have helped researchers find better treatments and discover new mysteries related to the human genome without even having to use anything more than some basic genetic material.

The field of genetics has evolved substantially since the first genetically modified animal was developed. It’s now possible to create humanized mice that have been modified using human DNA to more faithfully mimic a human’s response to certain treatments. Genetically modified mice and transgenic mice are being produced with different models being catalogued, patented and targeted for research on a regular basis by new students and prominent scientists alike. While knock-in mice are considered superior when it comes to their benefits and ability for accurate genetic targeting, transgenic mice can be equally valuable depending on the applications they are used for. Transgenic mice play a huge role in the identification and research process of evaluating characteristics of various diseases. Overall, they continue to be indispensable when it comes to investigating specific aspects of disorders that result from unknown causes or those with symptoms and characteristics that can be triggered.

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