Researching Knockout Mice – Purpose and Understanding of Long Term Benefits
When it comes to knockout mice, purpose and benefits are two topics that scientists approach wholeheartedly and critics take with a grain of salt. While it is true that using experimental mouse models for genetic research has its own controversial elements to it, the facts show that studying knockout mice has already had a profound effect on the understanding of human anatomy and genetics beyond anything scientists were able to achieve in the past. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and many other debilitating disorders that plague us humans in this day and age, have found improved treatments and widely improving survival rates in recent years, thanks primarily to genetic research conducted on mice.
Understanding Knockout Mice and What They Are Used for
Before learning about the advantages of knockout mice, purpose related understanding of what these mice are designed for is needed. Knockout mice are essentially laboratory mice that had one or more of their genes knocked out or disabled selectively for the purpose of studying how certain diseases or treatments work to influence the body – both in singular individuals and in groups or even generations of laboratory mice. Genes are selected and erased or replaced with different DNA sequences, depending on what the researchers are trying to achieve. When studying knockout mice, purpose and feedback are of extreme importance. Scientists first conduct extensive research on genes that are affected when humans suffer from a certain disease, and they set up mouse studies that aim to use knockout mice in order to discover exactly how the body behaves when the gene is deactivated, and how it reacts to certain treatments.
What Is the True Potential of Knockout Mouse Research?
Can you envision a world without disease or imperfections, where a faulty heart or a type of cancer that might be considered terminal today can be treated in less than an hour? This is just a glimpse of the many possibilities that knockout mouse gene therapy holds. Using humanized and regular knockout mouse models, researchers are able to tap into the link between the DNA’s blueprint and the sometimes unexplained diseases and limitations that have similar effects on humans and mice alike. While mice are not 100% perfect as test subjects used for studying human diseases, they hold great promise for future research goals.
The Lesser Known Benefits of Knockout Mouse Models
When it comes to using knockout mice, purpose and higher understanding go hand in hand. This is why, in some cases, the advantages these mice can bring aren’t completely obvious. From models designed for studying basic inflammation, to mice that have seemingly purposeless genes removed, which shows visible results 2-3 generations later, knockout mice can be used to help researchers understand even the least obvious effects that genetic modifications have on the development and health of humans and human-like mammals.
Concrete Positive Results of Knockout Genetic Research
Thanks to animal research, primarily knockout mouse research, genetics have advanced further than we had hoped. Knockout research made it possible for scientists to come up with the use of proteins like Herceptin, which has already helped many breast cancer patients achieve remission. Knockout gene models have also made it possible to conduct quick studies that could have taken entire lifetimes, accelerating the discovery of important drugs and treatments. Thanks to knockout mice, purpose and concrete results are possible that could not have arisen without them.
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