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PLoS Genet. 2011 Jul;7(7):e1002110. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002110. Epub 2011 Jul 21.

Somatic genetics empowers the mouse for modeling and interrogating developmental and disease processes.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.


With recent advances in genomic technologies, candidate human disease genes are being mapped at an accelerated pace. There is a clear need to move forward with genetic tools that can efficiently validate these mutations in vivo. Murine somatic mutagenesis is evolving to fulfill these needs with tools such as somatic transgenesis, humanized rodents, and forward genetics. By combining these resources one is not only able to model disease for in vivo verification, but also to screen for mutations and pathways integral to disease progression and therapeutic intervention. In this review, we briefly outline the current advances in somatic mutagenesis and discuss how these new tools, especially the piggyBac transposon system, can be applied to decipher human biology and disease.

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