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Medical News & Perspectives
August 22/29, 2001

Genetic Research Features Murine Creatures

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JAMA. 2001;286(8):908. doi:10.1001/jama.286.8.908-JMN0822-3-1

Bar Harbor, Me—With the sequence of the human genome largely in hand, scientists agree that the "real work"—understanding how the genes are regulated and the function of the proteins they encode—is largely uncharted territory.

Critical to the scientific pioneers exploring this new frontier are model organisms—fruit flies, yeast, zebrafish, rats, mice, and others—because studies revealing how their genes function can shed light on how homologous genes work in humans. The use of such animal models will "tremendously increase the pace" of discovery, said Kenneth Paigen, PhD, director of the Jackson Laboratory, at a press briefing here.