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Transgenic Rats vs Mice

Last Updated on May 1, 2023 by ingenious

Transgenic Rats Vs Mice by INGENIOUS

The Basics of Transgenic Rats vs Mice in Genetic Research and Engineering

The use of transgenic rats vs mice to facilitate genetic research has been an important choice that researchers have needed to consider since the first transgenic rats were developed. Before that, laboratory mice and their use in embryonic stem cell studies dominated the world of genetics. Scientists around the world found them to be the most effective animals for everything from generating basic knockin models to using complex methods to create conditional knockout models for studying a variety of ailments and genetic disorders that affect both mice and humans.

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When considering transgenic rats vs mice, we have to look at why transgenic rats take longer to develop than mice. Even though rats have been used for common research purposes such as testing drugs and genetically modified organic substances to help treat certain diseases, scientists were unable to develop knockout or knockin transgenic rats until about 10 years ago. The technology was successful but not consistent, after researchers figured out how to correctly harvest and maintain rat ES cells, which is much more complicated in comparison to mouse ES cells. These methods, combined with advanced genetic modification technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9, paved the way for genetic scientists to explore and decode physiological processes relating to metabolic, cardiovascular and brain functions that were still impossible to target using transgenic mouse models.

Since the first genetic technologies for developing transgenic rats vs mice were created more than three decades ago, scientists had time to perfect them and come up with new and improved methods to make the process more accurate and prevent problems such as embryonic lethality. Some of the most significant breakthroughs for generating transgenic rats and mice were TALEN and ZFN technologies, along with the aforementioned CRISPR. Transposon-mediated mutagenesis and other methods for the modification of rat ES cells followed as well, allowing genetic researchers to target knockin and knockout genes more effectively. These processes also allowed them to improve the accuracy of experiments, and ensure that the manipulation of mouse and rat genomes could be performed through minimally invasive procedures, with less time needed.

The issue of transgenic rats vs mice is predicted to become more significant in the near future. Rat models are expected to become the preferred models for highly targeted genetic research goals for certain disease areas that would be impossible to pursue using mouse DNA. However, they come with challenges such as finding space, establishing suitable animal facilities, and covering other potential costs, which will likely lead many scientists to continue working with transgenic mice for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, many researchers and companies dealing with the commercial aspect of genetic engineering are viewing mouse and rat models as equally important, in order to facilitate studies that would be better suited to one or the other. The discussion of transgenic rats vs mice is, therefore, expected to be an ongoing one, as researchers continue to find more complex and intricate means of enhancing both lines of research.

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