European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA)
A non-profit repository for the collection, archiving (via cryopreservation) and distribution of relevant mutant strains essential for basic biomedical research. The EMMA network is a partnership of several laboratories and other institutions throughout Europe.
The current membership includes the CNR Istituto di Biologia Cellulare in Monterotondo, Italy (project coordinator), the CNRS Centre de Distribution, de Typage et d'Archivage animal in Orleans, France, the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit in Harwell, UK, the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Oeiras, Portugal, the GSF Institute of Experimental Genetics in Munich, Germany and the EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, UK.
EMMA is supported by the partner institutions and by the European Commission's Framework Programs.
Gene Knockout Database
Maintained on the Frontiers in Science website and includes a useful index of mice classified according to the viability of the model.
Mouse Genome Informatics
Maintained by The Jackson Laboratory contains information about genes, alleles and phenotypes, molecular probes, mammalian homology and comparative maps, strains, and a mouse tumour biology database.
Pathology and Biology of Genetically Engineered Mice
Contains an extensive library of on-line resources including on mouse mutant resources, molecular pathology, phenotyping, tumours of mice, models of human diseases, and embryos.
The Mammalian Genetics Unit
Incorporates the Mouse Genome Centre at Harwell and comprises an integrated campus for mouse genetics research with facilities for molecular genetics, genomics, mutagenesis, transgenesis and informatics.
The Mouse Transgenic List
An electronic discussion groups hosted by the Mouse Transgenic group, Imperial College School of Medicine (UK) which aims to bring people of the same interest together through an easy, unrestricted and almost instant exchange of information on the e-mail network. Established in its present form in July 1996, it includes amongst its members active researchers in transgenesis from novice to the experts in the field. Major keywords cover wide spectrum of disciplines: homologous recombination, targeted mutagenesis, inducible expression, ES cells, microinjection, mouse genetics, animal husbandry.
Transgenic Animal Model Core
This valuable resource is maintained by the University of Michigan and contains a lot of helpful information and links on protocols for transgenic production and animal care. The guide to searching the web for mouse models of human disease and genetically altered mouse strains which can be found at ‘links’ is a gem.
Guidelines for Transgenic Research
Visit the Guidelines for Transgenic Research page
Assessing the welfare of genetically altered mice
In 2003, under the auspices of the main funders of biomedical research in the UK, a working group was established to review potential welfare issues for genetically altered mice and to recommend contemporary best practice for the welfare assessment of these animals.
The Working Group Report was released in April this year and includes an in-depth review of the potential animal welfare issues relating to the different methods used to generate genetically modified mice and the generic causes of animal welfare problems. There is also a comprehensive discussion of good welfare assessment and recommendations as to how this should be done in relation to neonates, weanlings and adults.
The Working Group recommended that welfare assessment should be undertaken for newly bred lines as well as when genetically modified animals are introduced into a new establishment. Welfare assessment of the neonate is recommended to include indicators such as skin colour, activity and presence of milk spot, and in the weanling and adult, appearance, size, coat condition, posture, gait, activity, interactions with the environment and clinical signs.
The information from these assessments should be used to create a ‘welfare profile’ which is specific for the particular line of genetically modified mouse.
Copies of the Working Party Report can be downloaded from www.lal.org.uk