4 October 2011
The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC), consisting of 15 international members has begun the first phase of a ten year project aimed at better understanding the function of every gene in a mouse. This phase of the project aims to create 5000 different knock-out mice and study their phenotypic characteristics and gather clinical information. Each of the consortium members will use standardised techniques to study these mice and deposit their findings in a single database which will be available to other members of the scientific community. The clinical investigations on the mice have been designed so that they can also provide information relevant to human diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Mice and humans share many genes and mouse models are often used to gain a better understanding of human diseases. This large scale project will create a valuable resource for disease researchers as well as pharmaceutical companies. It can be used for a number of purposes including determining functions of genes, creating better mouse models of disease and for identifying and validating drug targets.