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EU Invests $17M in Mouse Genes Project

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The German Research Center for Environmental Health said yesterday that the European Commission has approved €12 million ($16.7 million) to fund a consortium that will work to complete the inactivation of all the remaining genes in the mouse genome.

The eight-partner EUCOMMTOOLS project will use the funds to complete the inactivation of the remaining 3,500 genes in the 20,000-gene mouse genome that have not been knocked down.

Inactivating these genes will enable researchers to analyze gene function in any desired mouse murine cell, tissue, or organ at any time. The scientists also plan to develop new genetic tools to speed up the process of conditional gene function annotation.

"Our aim in the next five years, together with our American and Canadian partners in the International Knockout Mouse Consortium (IKMC), is to complete the mutagenesis of the mouse genome in order to systematically elucidate the function of all genes during development and in the adult mouse," Professor Wolfgang Wurst, director of the Institute of Developmental Genetics at the Center, said in a statement.

These mouse genome data, tools, and analysis developed in the project will be deposited and archived in the European Mouse Mutant Cell Repository and will be distributed on request.

"Right now we are preparing the legal basis for offering our materials and technologies to commercial partners as well," EUCOMMTOOLS Project Manager Cornelia Kaloff added.

The EUCOMMTOOLS collaborators include Genome Research Limited; the European Molecular Biology Laboratory; Dresden University of Technology (Germany); the National Research Council (Italy); The European Center of Biological Research and Medicine (France); The University Miguel Fernandez of Elche (Spain); the Medical Research Council (UK).

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