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A versatile mouse that can teach us about many diseases and drugs
Date:3/13/2014

as been published in the prestigious journal Cell Reports.

"The great thing about this mouse is its flexibility and potential for looking at a broad range of diseases and molecular targets," said Dr Paul Timpson.

"It allows us to watch and map, in real time, parts of a cell or organ where Rac is active and driving invasion. In cancers, a lot of blue indicates an aggressive tumour that is in the process of spreading."

"You can literally watch parts of a tumour turn from blue to yellow as a drug hits its target. This can be an hour or more after the drug is administered, and the effect can wane quickly or slowly. Drug companies need to know these details - specifically how much, how often and how long to administer drugs."

Dr Heidi Welch is very modest about her role in creating the mouse, viewing it mostly as a tool that will help other scientists to understand Rac and work out how to stop cancer cells from moving.

"The credit must go to Professor Miki Matsuda, the genius who invented the biosensor in the first place 12 years ago," she said.

"He made his discovery freely available to the scientific community, and has been very open about his findings since."

"Miki Matsuda was super-helpful in suggesting the expression levels we should be looking for, and in recommending the exact biosensor we should use, out of many he developed. He was superb."

According to Welch, competition is growing rapidly in this area, with Matsuda himself making biosensor mice for a variety of target molecules.


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Contact: Alison Heather
a.heather@garvan.org.au
61-292-958-128
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Source:Eurekalert

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