Washington: A team of scientists have made the first systematic comparison between the mouse and human at the genomic level.
Researchers have found powerful clues to why certain processes and systems in the mouse, such as the immune system, metabolism and stress response, are so different from those in people.
Building on years of mouse and gene regulation studies, they have developed a resource that can help scientists better understand how similarities and differences between mice and humans are written in their genomes.
Researchers examined the genetic and biochemical programs involved in regulating mouse and human genomes and found that, in general, the systems that are used to control gene activity have many similarities in mice and humans, and have been conserved, or continued, through evolutionary time.
The results may offer insights into gene regulation and other systems important to mammalian biology and also, provide new information to determine when the mouse is an appropriate model to study human biology and disease, and may help to explain some of its limitations.
Researcher Eric Green said that the mouse has long been a mainstay of biological research models and these results provide a wealth of information about how the mouse genome works, and a foundation on which scientists can build to further understand both mouse and human biology.
Co-senior author Bing Ren said that they found that many processes and pathways are conserved from mouse to human, which allows them to study human disease by studying those aspects of mouse biology that reflect human biology.
The study is published in four papers in Nature.