Transgenic mice as probes into complex systems

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Science  08 Dec 1989:
Vol. 246, Issue 4935, pp. 1265-1275
DOI: 10.1126/science.2686032


The transfer of genetic information into mouse embryos to stably alter the genetic constitution of mice is affording new insights into and opportunities in a wide variety of biological problems. Higher eukaryotes are composed of many interacting cells and organs. The properties of individual cell systems are often discernible only by studying natural or induced disruptions in their functions. Transgenic mice represent a new form of perturbation analysis whereby the selective expression of novel or altered genes can be used to perturb complex systems in ways that are informative about their development, their functions, and their malfunctions. The utility of this strategy is illustrated by recent research into immunological self-tolerance, oncogenes and cancer, and development.

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