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Infrafrontier The European infrastructure for phenotyping and archiving of model mammalian genomes

Final Report Summary - INFRAFRONTIER (Infrafrontier The European infrastructure for phenotyping and archiving of model mammalian genomes)

Mouse models have become a central asset in the functional analysis of our genes. The mouse genome is fully sequenced. 99% of the coding genes present in man are also present in the mouse. In the last two decades researchers have developed an extensive toolbox to study the functional effects of genetic variation in the mouse. The technology to alter the mouse genome in a targeted way (knock-out mice) earned its originators the Nobel Prize in the year 2007. Mouse models are also central in the study of human diseases. Mice and humans share the majority of disease related genes. The susceptibility of mice to targeted genetic intervention makes them the ideal model organism for the study of gene function in health and disease. As a result, mice are today the most widely used animal model in biomedical research. Currently, hundreds of new mouse lines are generated each year in biomedical research laboratories around the globe. This creates an enormous demand for:

Systemic Phenotyping

Systemic phenotyping is the comprehensive functional and molecular characterisation of mouse lines in all relevant organ systems and disease areas. The mouse clinics partnering in INFRAFRONTIER use cutting-edge technologies, among them the latest in vivo imaging techniques and non-invasive methods, to reveal the role of the genes and environment on development, morphology, physiology, metabolism, behaviour and pathology. The efficient use of modern analytic technology and data management tools provides novel insights into gene function and creates basis for new therapeutic approaches and disease prevention strategies.

Archiving and Distribution

Keeping live mice on shelf for extended periods is not only costly, it also bears the risk of losing biologically relevant phenotypes due to genetic drift or disease, and it is not desirable for animal welfare reasons. Mouse repositories therefore preserve scientifically valuable mouse models and distribute them to upon request to the biomedical research community.
EMMA - The European Mouse Mutant Archive is the leading mouse repository in Europe and important partner in the global network of mouse archives. EMMA offers archiving and distribution of mouse models under highest quality standards and access to the strain data in the EMMA resource database. An additional specialized service of EMMA is the generation of germ-free (axenic) mice.

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