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Lab, Field, and Clinic
December 1, 2004

Shuffling Mouse’s Genetic Deck May Illuminate Causes of Complex Diseases

JAMA. 2004;292(21):2568. doi:10.1001/jama.292.21.2568

Bar Harbor—Among the 2500 or so varieties of mice that reside at the Jackson Laboratory are 8 strains that are the seed of an ambitious enterprise. To the casual observer, they seem ordinary enough—some chubby, some jittery, some just a tad quirky. But to Gary Churchill, PhD, they have the potential to evolve into a research tool that will allow scientists to unravel some of the complexities of diseases such as diabetes, autoimmunity, and dementia.

“The greatest burdens to human health aren’t the flashy Mendelian-type diseases,” said Churchill. “They’re subtle, complex things: obesity, heart disease, and cancer.”