Humans have been breeding animals for millenia to bring out desirable characteristics. With the thoroughbred race horse there's lots of money at stake but with research mice it's the possibility of life-saving new treatments.
Selective breeding involves selecting parents that have characteristics of interest in the hope that their offspring inherit those desirable characteristics.
The Guinea worm is a water-transmitted parasite that develops over a year in its host before painfully emerging from the skin. It is hoped that it will soon become the first parasite to be eradicated but there are a few challenges to overcome first…
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a popular model organism only relatively recently. It is a tropical fish from the minnow family with a genetic structure surprisingly similar to ours.
The fruit fly, also known as Drosophila melanogaster, has the longest history in genetics and research out of all the model organisms.
The mouse is closely related to humans with a striking similarity to us in terms of anatomy, physiology and genetics. This makes the mouse an extremely useful model organism.
While many species of amphibians have been studied by scientists, the one that stands out in genetics is the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.
John Sulston and Bob Waterston led the way for the Human Genome Project after they successfully sequenced the genome of the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, the first animal to be sequenced.
The 1950s and early 1960s saw a dazzling explosion in molecular biology. The structure of DNA had been uncovered and the mysteries of biology seemed eminently solvable. What would be the next big thing?
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