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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

From Pets to Oncomice – The Story of the Mouse in Cancer Research

Ever wondered when and how biologists started using mice for cancer experiments? The answers are in an easy to read article from researchers working at Cold Spring Harbor, one of the world’s great centers for fundamental research on biology and cells. The article is free, and is titled: Of Model Pets and Cancer Models: An Introduction to Mouse Models of Cancer, doi:10.1101/pdb.top069757, Cold Spring Harb Protoc 2014, © 2014 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

The abstract provides the overview story:

"The extraordinary endeavor to faithfully model human disorders in mice began in the early 1900s, and in the century since has delivered fundamental advances in our understanding and treatment of human disease. Although it could not be appreciated at the time, 99% of mouse protein-coding genes have an equivalent homolog in the human genome, despite the striking differences in appearance between mouse and man. This remarkable genetic similarity, together with our ability to finely engineer the murine genome, has made the mouse the ideal animal in which to model and analyze human biology and disease. Here we describe this remarkable shared journey between human and mouse, and envisage the next generation of mouse models, which will no doubt prove increasingly sophisticated and even more faithful to human disease. We also address the strategic use of mice in the fight against cancer, and the role they will play in the development of therapies to eradicate this disease."

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