Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Mouse genome will help identify causes of environmental disease

Research on the DNA of 15 mouse strains commonly used in biomedical studies is expected to help scientists determine the genes related to susceptibility to environmental disease.

The body of data is now publicly available in a catalog of genetic variants, which displays the data as a mouse haplotype map, a tool that separates chromosomes in to many small segments, helping researchers find genes and genetic variations in mice that may affect health and disease. The haplotype map appearing online in the July 29th issue of Nature is the first published full descriptive analysis of the “Mouse Genome Resequencing and SNP Discovery Project” conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“These data allow researchers to compare the genetic makeup of one mouse strain to another, and perform the necessary genetic analyses to determine why some individuals might be more susceptible to disease than another. This puts us one step closer to understanding individual susceptibility to environmental toxins in humans. We also hope that pharmaceutical companies developing new treatments for environmental diseases will find these data and this paper as a valuable resource,” said David A. Schwartz. M.D., NIEHS Director.

The paper describes in detail the laborious and technology-driven approaches that were used to identify 8.27 million high quality SNPs distributed among the genomes of 15 mouse strains. Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, or SNPs (known as snips), are single genetic changes, or variations, that can occur in a DNA sequence.

... more about:
»DNA »Disease »Environmental »NIEHS »NTP »Perlegen »SNP »Science »Variation »strain

Much of the project was conducted through a contract between the National Toxicology Program at NIEHS and Perlegen Sciences, Inc. of Mountain View Calif.

“The database of mouse genetic variation should facilitate a wide range of important biological studies, and helps demonstrate the utility of this array technology approach,” said David R. Cox, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Perlegen Sciences, Inc.

The Perlegen scientists used C57BL/6J the first mouse strain to undergo DNA sequencing as their standard reference to conduct the re-sequencing on the four wild-derived and eleven classical mouse strains. The technology used, the oligonucleotide array, was also used to discover common DNA variation in the human genome.

The arrays looked at about 1.49 billion bases (58 percent) of the 2.57 billion base pair of their standard reference strain. The data were then used to develop the haplotype map which contains 40,898 segments.

“The data will be a valuable resource to many, including the National Toxicology Program,” Schwartz says. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is an interagency program, headquartered at NIEHS, with the mission to coordinate, conduct and communicate toxicological research across the U.S. government.

“The NTP is looking forward to exploring the responses of these strains of mice to various environmental agents,” said John Bucher, Ph.D., the new associate director of the NTP.

Frank M. Johnson, Ph. D., an NTP research geneticist and one of the authors of the Nature paper, adds that systematically characterizing even more mouse strains for susceptibility to toxins will not only help with genetic analysis, but better position researchers to do intervention studies.

The data are publicly available on the National Center for Biotechnology Information Web site at and at a Web site developed by Perlegen at which allows researchers to download SNPs, genotypes, and LR-PCR primer pairs, which are currently mapped to NCBI Build 36.

In addition to the NTP and Perlegen Sciences scientists, other key collaborators on the project include researchers from the Department of Computer Science and Department of Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles; the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego; The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine; Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; and the Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Reference: Kelly A. Frazer, Eleazar Eskin, Hyun Min Kang, Molly A. Bogue, David A. Hinds, Erica J. Beilharz, Robert V. Gupta, Julie Montgomery, Matt M. Morenzoni, Geoffrey B. Nilsen, Charit L. Pethiyagoda, Laura L. Stuve, Frank M. Johnson, Mark J. Daly, Claire M. Wade, David R. Cox. A sequence-based variation map of 8.27 million SNPs in inbred mouse strains. Nature, 2007

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a component of the National Institutes of Health, supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health. For more information on environmental health topics, please visit our website at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

Robin Mackar | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: DNA Disease Environmental NIEHS NTP Perlegen SNP Science Variation strain

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht North and South Cooperation to Combat Tuberculosis
22.03.2018 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein
22.03.2018 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>