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Researchers Create First Targeted Knockout Rats Using Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology
Date:7/23/2009

MILWAUKEE, RICHMOND, Calif., ST LOUIS, PALO ALTO, Calif., and PARIS, July 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Scientists from The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Sangamo Biosciences, Inc., (Nasdaq: SGMO), Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (Nasdaq: SIAL), Open Monoclonal Technology, Inc. (OMT) and INSERM today announced the creation of the first genetically modified mammals developed using zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) technology.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090723/CG50357)

In a paper published in the July 24, 2009 issue of Science, researchers describe the novel application of ZFNs to generate rats with permanent, heritable gene mutations, paving the way for the development of novel genetically modified animal models of human disease. ZFN technology will make the generation of such animals faster and will create new opportunities in species other than mice.

"Until now, rat geneticists lacked a viable technique for 'knocking out,' or mutating, specific genes to understand their function," said Howard Jacob, Ph.D. Director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "This study demonstrates that ZFN technology bypasses the current need to conduct cumbersome experiments involving nuclear transfer (cloning) or embryonic stem cells and allows rapid creation of new animal models."

In the study published in Science titled "Knockout Rats via Embryo Microinjection of Zinc Finger Nucleases," (Geurts, et al.) scientists used ZFNs to knock out an inserted reporter gene and two native rat genes without causing measurable effect
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SOURCE Sigma-Aldrich
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