Monday, 2 April 2012

What is Model organisms? And some main model organisms we usually used in experimental study


In our world, there are a great variable of life existed, whereas we can apply a common method in scientific research to study life, which is choosing a few life forms in experimental studies.These important species can represent their own characteristic of species which is called model organisms. Therefore, the model organisms are the special species which have already been depth understood by scientists, and the majority of their DNA sequences have been joined into the scientific database to accelerate the research for life human diseases, genome and the other development evolution area. Meantime, the model organism can be used in disease tests when doing human experiment is not unethical(Müller&Grossniklaus 2010)
For example, prokaryotic cell including E. coli, yeast, C. elegans, and eukaryotic cells can be modelled by mouse, rats, maize etc. Figure 1 shows some important model organism such as mouse, fruit fly, chicken, etc.
Figure 1, some important model organisms
Figure 2, model organisms: mouse

Mice(figure 2) is the most common experimental model of vertebrate animal. It can help us to understand the function of specific gene in living mammal during development and disease(Brakebusch& Pihlajaniemi 2011). Because mouse genetic sequences are closely relative to human genome. In the meantime, it has common evolution and some similar diseases with human including cancer, diabetes, glaucoma and the other diseases which are difficult to cure. Thus, scientists study the mouse can deeply help people to treat incurable diseases (Müller&Grossniklaus 2010).

If we mention non-mammal model organism, the fruit fly, "Drosophila melanogaster" cannot be ignored. Comparison of genetic sequence between drosophila and the other insects can help to target pest control and avoid grand scale damage in environment. Additionally, if the vector drosophila has be developed, it can transfer genes from one species to another species(Roberts 2006)

In order to research mutants in life, they disrupted growth stages of larvae to cause developmental abnormalities of drosophila's embryogenesis. And then the scientists got the results that mutants and corresponding genes can be group into a hierarchical networks to help scientist understanding the genetic mutants (Müller&Grossniklaus 2010)

Yeast is the first eukaryotic cell which is completed DNA sequence. Yeast is a model organism to use for interpreting and understanding human DNA sequences. Because yeast and human encode very similar protein. For example, yeast as model organism can be used to concern human disease gene map by some methods(Botstein, Chervitz&Cherry 1997).

In conclusion, model organisms are the significant parts in scientific research especially in biomedical area , via studying a few life, can help scientist to accurately research life genome, evolution, and disease. Additionally, by using model organism to do some experimental research can avoid some unethical problem in human disease test and some human experimental studies.


Reference:
Botstein, D, Chervitz, SA & Cherry,JM, Yeast as a Model Organism, Science,vol.277, no.5330, viewed 17th March 2012, .

Brakebusch, C& Pihlajaniemi, T 2011, Mouse as a Model Organism
From Animals to Cells, Springer, New York.

Müller,B & Grossniklaus, U 2010, ' Model organisms — A historical perspective', Journal of Proteomics, Volume 73, viewed 25 March 2012, .

Roberts, DB 2006, Drosophila melanogaster: the model organism, Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, volume 121, no.2, pp 93-103, viewed 16 March 2012, .


Zhen Zhang 42835341
Biol1020, P3


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