Nature published yesterday an interesting Editorial promoting the concept of sharing and archiving mouse models that are constantly generated world wide, as a way to adequately trigger our progress in science more efficiently, to avoid repeated experiments and duplication of efforts, and to allow different laboratories to use the same research tools and animal models.
These ideas were discussed in a recent meeting on “Data Sharing in Mouse Functional Genomics“, held in Rome in May 20-22, 2009, within the European Project CASIMIR, a coordination action of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission, that focus on co-ordination and integration of databases set up in support of FP5 and FP6 projects containing experimental data, including sequences, and material resources such as biological collections, relevant to the use of the mouse as a model organism for human disease.
Archiving of genetically-modified and, in general, mutant mice can be done using any of the existing international platforms, such as: EMMA, The Jackson Laboratory, MMRRC, MMHCC, Riken-RBRC, Riken-CARD, CMC, CMMR, Australian Phenomics Network, etc…. all coordinated and available through the Federation of International Mouse Resources (FIMRE) and with all their mouse repository contents searchable through the International Mouse Strain Resource (IMSR).
In order to promote sharing and archiving of all new mice that are produced the Editorial of Nature recommends that “Journals should now require researchers to place their mice in repositories as a condition of publication. And funding agencies should require repository plans to be included in all grant applications that are likely to generate new mouse strains. Part of the grant money should be reserved for this task and final reports or evaluations of the grants should refer to the repository used. The repositories themselves should help the journals and funding agencies by finding a way to generate a unique accession number for each mouse strain.”