The international Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium today announced the publication of a high-quality draft sequence of the mouse genome – the genetic blueprint of a mouse – together with a comparative analysis of the mouse and human genomes describing insights gleaned from the two sequences. The paper appears in the Dec. 5 issue of the journal Nature. The achievement represents a landmark advance for the Human Genome Project. It is the first time that scientists have compared and contrasted the contents of the human genome with that of another mammal. This milestone is all the more significant given that the laboratory mouse is the most important animal model and is widely used in the study of human diseases.
Researchers have developed the world’s first animal model for mature human B-cell lymphomas, a discovery that may lead to the uncovering of the genetic mutations that cause these types of cancer. Mature B-cell type lymphomas account for about 85 percent of all lymphomas, and include both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
A completely new type of therapy, using a unique class of synthetic compounds, may someday protect both men and women from the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis. Researchers reported in the October 25 issue of Science that early studies of one of these compounds called estren successfully preserved and even restored bone mass in an animal model without the side effects associated with sex hormone therapies.