Mouse genetic models have been extensively utilized by CCBMB investigators and are central to research in musculoskeletal biology and medicine. The Animal Models Core aims to foster a state-of-the-art research environment for CCMBM researchers by supporting the optimization and implementation of new technologies, the generation of mouse genetic tools that will have wide use among CCBMB researchers, the production, preservation, and sharing of genetically altered mice in a timely and reliable manner, and the exploration of the zebrafish as a model for musculoskeletal research. To enhance the effective use of mouse and zebrafish model organisms for research in musculoskeletal biology, the Animal Models Core will facilitate the implementation of TALEN and CRISPR/Cas genomic editing technology. This technology will benefit CCBMB investigators by facilitating investigator-initiated development of mouse and zebrafish animal models, and by developing "universal" TALENs for targeting Cre recombinase, LacZ, and the ROSA26 locus, to allow efficient re-engineering of well-characterized mouse alleles. Establishing this genomic editing technology will benefit CCBMB members by enabling fast and cost-effective production of new mouse and zebrafish models and by allowing the genetic modification of well-characterized existing mouse lines that have well-defined temporal and spatial expression patterns. Additional aims of the Animal Models Core focus on consultation and education and the maintenance of a comprehensive database to foster sharing of animal models and genetic tools.
Animal models provide essential tools for research in musculoskeletal biology. The zebrafish and mouse provide complementary organisms that together provide physiologically relevant models for musculoskeletal development and disease and allow the identification of novel gene functions through genetic screens. The Animal Models Core aims to facilitate and enhance the use of these model organisms for MRC investigators.
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