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Jun 27, 2007

NIH Grants $4.8M for Knockout Mouse Repository

  • The NIH will provide $4.8 million to establish and support a repository for its Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP). This award is the final component of a $50 million trans-NIH initiative to increase the availability of genetically altered mice and related materials. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) and Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) will collaborate to preserve, protect, and make available about 8,500 types of knockout mice and related products available to the research community.

    The repository will archive, maintain, and distribute the strains of embryonic stem cell clones, live mouse lines, frozen embryos and sperm, and vectors. The four-year grant funds establishment and operation of the repository.

    Previously funded portions of the KOMP include two awards totaling $47.2 million for the creation of mouse embryonic stem cell lines. Recipients were Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and a collaborative team from UC Davis, CHORI, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The NIH also supported the establishment of a data coordination center by the Jackson Laboratory to track the scheduling and progress of knockout production. In addition, the NIH issued smaller awards to the University of Pennsylvania and the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital to improve the efficiency of methods for creating knockout lines.

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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.

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