A new book has been published in the field of mouse genetics, filling a gap created since the mid nineties, when the last similar books had been published (i.e. Lee Silver, 1995), devoted to this topic. This new book, entitled “Genetics of the Mouse” has been edited by four experiencied mouse geneticists: Jean-Louis Guénet, Fernando Benavides, Jean-Jacques Panthier and Xavier Montagutelli, and has been published by Springer (2015). The authors are all related with Institut Pasteur, in Paris, France, where Jean-Louis Guénet worked many years (currently retired), where Fernando Benavides (ISTT member and at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX, USA) had also worked, under the supervision of Jean-Louis Guénet, and where Jean-Jacques Panthier and Xavier Montagutelli have currently their laboratories. Jean-Louis Guénet and Fernando Benavides had also co-authored a previous text on a similar subject (Genetics of Rodents), in Spanish, published in 2003 and freely available from the ISTT web page since 2011.
This new book contains 10 chapters, as follows:
Origins of the Laboratory Mouse
Basic Concepts of Reproductive Biology and Genetics
The Mouse Genome
Epigenetic Control of Genome Expression
Mutations and Experimental Mutagenesis
Transgenesis and Genome Manipulations
The Different Categories of Genetically Standardized
Quantitative Traits and Quantitative Genetics
As indicated in the Springer’s book web page: ‘This book, written by experienced geneticists, covers topics ranging from the natural history of the mouse species, its handling and reproduction in the laboratory, and its classical genetics and cytogenetics, to modern issues including the analysis of the transcriptome, the parental imprinting and X-chromosome inactivation. The strategies for creating all sorts of mutations, either by genetic engineering or by using mutagens, are also reviewed and discussed in detail. Finally, a last chapter outlines the methodology used for the analysis of complex or quantitative traits. The authors also discuss the importance of accurate phenotyping, which is now performed in the mouse clinics established worldwide and identify the limits of the mouse model, which under certain circumstances can fail to present the phenotype expected from the cognate condition in the human model. For each chapter an up-to-date list of pertinent references is provided. In short, this book offers an essential resource for all scientists who use or plan to use mice in their research.‘
The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is committed to biomedical research that improves the health and well-being of people and animals worldwide. Transgenic technology has widely been recognized as a powerful tool for analysis of in vivo gene function and generation of animal models that are vital to the effort to develop treatments and cures for disease.
The availability of these research models for study by researchers is critically dependent on their transport between laboratories and research institutions around the world, because scientific research is a global endeavor. The wide availability of these models also precludes having to regenerate the same model as researchers can often use a model that has already been made. This practice greatly reduces the numbers of animals used for research, thus fulfilling a core ethical responsibility of researchers. Inappropriate or unavailable animal transport would directly hamper the efforts of international collaborative networks or initiatives aimed at the efficient design, generation and distribution such gene modified animal models.
Animals used in scientific research are, in the vast majority of cases, bred for this purpose. Their care and use is constantly subject to rigorous oversight to ensure that animals are used only when absolutely needed, are housed in the best available conditions and are not subject to unnecessary pain. Shipment of live animals is also undertaken with the same regard for animal care and wellbeing and in compliance with international standards for packing and handling.
The ISTT therefore supports all actions that maintain the availability of safe, humane, and regulated transport of research animals by professional carriers in compliance with international legislation, and we renounce any misguided attempts to curtail or prevent this vital practice that is absolutely necessary for our ability to develop life-saving cures.
Jan Parker-Thornburg, President
On behalf of the ISTT Board of Directors
December 8, 2014