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Welcome to our website on model organisms. Our aim in this website is to inform you about a variety of different model organisms involved in medical research. Each model organism has its own advantages and disadvantages for use in studying disease, for this reason usually a wide variety of organisms are used as some model organisms are better suited for a particular research technique than others. For example Drosophila are best for genetic manipulation, whereas the Mouse is a more suitable model for mammalian disease studies.

There are many different types of model organism such as C.elegans, Yeast, and Xenopus. In the following pages however, we will outline the advantages and disadvantages of four different model organisms, the Drosophila melanogaster or fruit fly, the Mus musculus or house mouse, the Danio Rerio or Zebrafish and the Gallus gallus domesticus or chick. We will also look at how each organism is best suited for scientific research and outline some discoveries gained through the use of these models.

One disease that has had wide study in different model organisms is Aniridia; this consists of a lack of an iris in the human eye but can cause more dramatic effects in other organisms. For example in Drosophila the loss of the Pax6 homologue eyeless results in a complete loss of the Drosophila eye.

Image showing the different phenotypes of Pax6 mutations in the Human, Mouse, Zebrafish and Drosophila.



Banner image courtesy of flickr under the Creative Commons license.

Side image courtesy of wikimedia commons.

Pax6 image courtesy of wikimedia commons.


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