Mice made easy

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 538-542
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6312.538

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The CRISPR revolution that has made genome editing simpler, cheaper, and faster has come to the laboratory mouse, a leading animal model used to study everything from human disease to the function of genes. Engineering of mice, which previously relied mainly on modifying embryonic stem (ES) cells, has become something that many more labs can do themselves, and it has also become far easier to make mice with several mutations. But CRISPR works best at “knocking out” genes, introducing errors that cripple the ability of cells to make functional products from the DNA. When it comes to adding, or knocking in, information—which is critical for many mouse studies—CRISPR remains a work in progress, leading some researchers to warn that the ES technology is being abandoned prematurely.