A new £18M Medical Research Council (MRC) facility to understand and compare the genetics of disease in mice and humans will be opened today, Wednesday 30 June, by Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Technology.
The Mary Lyon Centre, at Harwell, Oxfordshire, headed by professor Bob Johnson, will primarily support research carried out at the neighbouring MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit which uses mouse genetics to understand what human genes do and how they contribute to health and disease, but will also support mouse research in the MRC Radiation and Genetic Stability Unit at Harwell and in the wider UK community. One third of the space and resources of the Centre will be made available to external researchers.
Mice share 99% of their genetic sequence with humans and can suffer from the same diseases, for example diabetes, deafness and cancer. Investigating these diseases in mice can provide vital leads to understanding both their causes and ways to treat them in humans.
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