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Knockout mice

Related Terms

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Background

  • A knockout mouse is a genetically engineered mouse used for research. Knockout mice have specific genes that are "knocked out" or deactivated.
  • Genes are made of specific DNA sequences and provide the instructions for making proteins and other molecules. Thus, genes control the development and function of an organism. Genes are passed down as cells divide and from parents to their offspring.
  • To create a knockout mouse, scientists either replace or deactivate an existing gene with a gene targeting construct. Targeting constructs may contain "foreign" DNA from other organisms and are designed to contain sequences that are similar, or homologous, to the mouse DNA. There are several types of targeting constructs. Some insert a piece of foreign DNA into the gene, which interrupts the gene sequence. If designed properly, this interruption may inactivate the gene. Other targeting constructs are designed to replace a gene (or critical gene sequence) with foreign DNA. Some targeting constructs are designed so that an entire gene (or a critical part of the gene) is removed completely. Depending on the type of procedure used, the constructs may target either specific genes or random DNA sequences.
  • An organism's genetic makeup (genotype) influences its behavior and physical characteristics (phenotype). When a gene is knocked out, this changes the organism's genotype. As a result, the phenotype of a knockout mouse may differ from a natural, or "wild type" mouse.
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Methods

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Research

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Implications

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Limitations

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Safety

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Future Research

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.