In this review, Peter Robinson and Caleb Webber provide an overview of the emerging statistical and computational approaches to objectively identify phenotypic equivalence between human and model organisms. They conclude by considering the particular challenges involved in modeling neuropsychiatric disorders.
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One of the most promising tools for gene targeting in humans is recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV). Yinan Kan and colleagues demonstrate that the normally single-stranded rAAV performs gene targeting via double-stranded intermediates, which are mechanistically indistinguishable from standard plasmid-mediated gene targeting.
In order to better understand cleft palate, Zena Wolf and colleagues have turned to man's best friend, the domestic dog. A genome-wide association study of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers with naturally occurring cleft palate led to the investigation of two homeobox genes, DLX5 and DLX6.
Ron Weiss and colleagues generated fruit flies in which they diminished the amplitude of circadian oscillations in a controlled way. They found that a decrease of more than 50% in the amplitude of circadian oscillations leads to impaired function of circadian physiological outputs in the periphery but does not significantly affect circadian behavior.
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