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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1996 Aug;6(4):439-44.

Early mouse development: lessons from gene targeting.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, The Biological Laboratories, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138 USA.


A number of mouse mutants generated recently by gene targeting are of particular interest for the study of development. For some genes, such as Lim 1 or Otx-2, recent knockouts reveal an essential role in early patterning. In other cases, such as the activins and goosecoid, the mutant phenotypes force a re-evaluation of models that are based on studies in other vertebrates. Of particular interest also are the new compound mutants for genes where some measure of functional redundancy is expected, notably the Hox genes. Finally, recent technical advances allow the creation of conditional knockouts as well as large chromosomal alterations.

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