August 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 14)
Strong Points: Nicely organized and user-friendly
Weak Points: 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).