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Aug 01, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 14)

Europhenome Mouse Phenotyping Resource

  • Nicely organized and user-friendly
  • Many mutant strains are not yet included in the database

Remember when life was simple—when a mouse was just a mouse? There were none of these knock-out or conditional knock-out complications. Well, we’ve learned a lot from each modified musculus strain individually, but sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and observe on a broader scale. That’s exactly what the Europhenome Mouse Phenotyping Resource provides: a wide scope of phenotypes across a large number of mutant mouse strains. Now, this collection is nowhere near complete, but the website is much more user-friendly than some other mouse phenotyping catalogs I’ve encountered.  The heatmap, for example, clearly shows which mutants show phenotypes with regard to parameters like dysmorphology or body weight. There is also a phenome data viewer, which lets users search either inbred or mutant mouse data by strain, gender, and procedure (such as nociceptive tests, rotarod, and grip strength).

  • Key:
  • Strong Points
  • Weak Points
  • Ratings:
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good

*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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