Washington DC: Major European mouse study has revealed the role of genes in the disease.
Since mice share 90 percent of our genes they play an important role in understanding human genetics.
The European Mouse Disease Clinic (EUMODIC) brought together scientists from across Europe to investigate the functions of 320 genes in mice.
Over half of these genes had no previously known role, and the remaining genes were poorly understood.
The EUMODIC group produced mouse lines which each had a single gene removed. These mouse lines were then analysed in mouse clinics, where each line was assessed by a series of tests and investigations, which allowed to establish the role of the missing genes.
Approximately 80 percent of the mouse lines assessed had a characteristic that provided a clue to what the missing gene`s role might be.
The researchers carried out over 150 different tests on each mouse line.
The EUMODIC was the first step towards the creation of a database of all mouse gene functions, a vision now being realised by the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC).
Martin Hrabe de Angelis, who invented the mouse clinic concept, said that their findings with regard to the genes examined were available to the scientific community as a valid data set, which can be downloaded free of charge from the IMPC website.
Angelis stated that this was the first time such a project has been attempted on this scale with multiple centers cooperating together from different countries.
These findings will allow understanding more about genes and open up new avenues for research into the genetics of human disease.
The study is published in journal Nature Genetics.