Transgenic Mice

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A transgenic mouse is one that carries an alien gene that has been intentionally inserted into its genome. The alien gene is constructed using recombinant DNA methodology. In addition to the gene itself, the DNA usually includes other sequences to enable it to be incorporated into the DNA of the host and to be expressed correctly by the cells of the host.

Transgenic sheep and goats have been created that produce foreign proteins in their milk.
Transgenic chickens are now able to synthesize human proteins in the "white" of their eggs.

These animals should eventually prove to be valuable sources of proteins for human therapy.
Transgenic mice have provided the tools for exploring many biological questions.
A normal mouse cannot be infected with polio virus. The mice lack the cell-surface molecule that, in humans, serves as the receptor for the virus. Normal mice cannot serve as an inexpensive and easily-manipulated model for studying the disease. With transgenic mice showing the human gene for the polio virus receptor they can be infected by polio virus and even develop paralysis and other pathological changes characteristic of the disease in humans.

There are two methods of producing transgenic mice that are widely used. Transforming embryonic stem cells (ES cells) growing in tissue culture with the desired DNA and injecting the desired gene into the pronucleus of a fertilized mouse egg.
The Embryonic Stem Cell Method "1"
Embryonic stem cells are gathered from the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts. They can be grown in culture and retain their full potential to produce all the cells of the mature animal, including its gametes.
1. Make your DNA
Using recombinant DNA methods you build molecules of DNA containing the gene you desire (e.g., the insulin gene) vector DNA to enable the molecules to be inserted into host DNA molecules, then promoter and enhancer sequences to enable the gene to be expressed by host cells.
2. Transform ES cells in culture
 This is achieved by exposing the cultured cells to the DNA so that some will incorporate it.
3. Select for successfully transformed cells.
4. Inject these cells into the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts.
5. Embryo transfer
Prepare a pseudopregnant mouse by mating a female mouse with a vasectomized male. The stimulus of mating provokes the hormonal changes needed to make her uterus receptive.
Then transfer the embryos into her uterus hoping that they implant successfully and develop into healthy pups.
6. Test her offspring
This is done by removing a small piece of tissue from the tail to examine its DNA for the desired gene. No more than 10–20% will have it, and they will be heterozygous for the gene.
7. Establish a transgenic strain
Mate two heterozygous mice and screen their offspring for the 1 in 4 that will be homozygous for the transgene.
Mating these will found the transgenic strain.

The Pronucleus Method "2"
1. Prepare your DNA as in Method 1
2. Transform fertilized eggs
Harvest freshly fertilized eggs before the sperm head has become a pronucleus and Inject the male pronucleus with your DNA. When the pronuclei have fused to form the diploid zygote nucleus, allow the zygote to divide by mitosis to form a 2-cell embryo.
3. Implant the embryos in a pseudopregnant foster mother and proceed as in Method 1.

A mouse can be annoying where mice can be a bigger problem! Getting rid of mice can be done in many ways such as the use of traps that kill or catch and poisons. Controlling mice in and around your home must be taken seriously as they can introduce illnesses to your family as well as transfer fleas to pets.

  • Mice will normally sleep for over 12 hours a day.
  • Mice eat, or at least chew anything that is softer than their teeth.
  • Mice are very neat as they will sleep, eat and defecate in different places.
  • Mice do not like rats as rats are known to prey on mice however in the wild they do live together.
  • Mice can jump straight up to about 18 inches and are also very good climbers and swimmers.
  • A male mouse is called a buck.
  • A female mouse is called a doe.
  • The offspring of mice are called pups or kitten.
  • A group of mice are called a family, horde or a nest.
  • A wild mouse will live no longer than 1 year.
  • A pet mouse may live for between 2 and 3 years.
  • A mouse’s tail is almost as long as its body.
  • Mice do not see in colour.
  • Mice are nocturnal creatures.
  • Mice can and will chew through anything softer than their teeth.
  • Mice cause more than 1 billion dollars’ worth of damage in the US alone each year.

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