The researchers are convinced that this new tool can help understand the development of cardiovascular diseases or diabetes in laboratory rats as well as in humans. The paper of the STAR consortium has been published online in the current issue of the journal Nature Genetics* (Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 560 - 566, 2008).
Laboratory rats are particularly suited for analyzing the genetic causes of epidemiological-relevant diseases. For over 150 years, scientists have been using laboratory rats as model animals in clinical research laboratories. It is known that the DNA sequence of every organism shows natural variations called "single nucleotide polymorphisms" or SNPs. Typically, the genome of an individual has several million SNPs and, thus, he or she differs at this level from others within the same species. Scientists investigate these SNPs to clarify whether they are linked to or influence the development of certain diseases. The MDC researchers and their colleagues in Europe and Japan have now identified three million SNPs in the genome of the rat. Thus, they were able to expand and improve upon the existing genomic map which until now was based on the analyses of only three rat strains.SNP and haplotype mapping for genetic analysis in the rat
1Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Robert-Roessle-Strasse 10, 13125, Berlin, Germany. 2Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Berlin, Germany. 3Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. 4European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton, UK. 5Hubrecht Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands. 6CEA/Institut de Génomique, Centre National de Génotypage, Evry, France. 7RIKEN Genomic Sciences Center, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan. 8National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo 101-8430, Japan. 9Centre de Regulacio Genomica, Barcelona, Spain. 10Leibniz-Institut für Altersforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut, Jena, Germany. 11Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences and 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. 12Institute of Laboratory Animals, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Yoshidakonoe-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.Barbara Bachtler
Barbara Bachtler | Max-Delbrück-Centrum
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