WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers announced Wednesday they have successfully resequenced the DNA of 15 mouse strains most commonly used in biomedical research.
More than 8.3 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, were discovered among the genomes of the 15 mouse strains and that new data will help researchers better understand complex genetic traits, such as why some individuals are more susceptible to certain diseases.
SNPs are single genetic changes or variations that can occur within a DNA sequence. Because mice and humans share many of the same fundamental biological and behavioral processes, including gene functions, the researchers said the data will help scientists understand human genetic susceptibility to nearly 200 diseases such as Parkinson's, cancer, diabetes, heart and lung diseases.
"Making this wealth of data freely available to the research community is a significant milestone," said Dr. David Schwartz. director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "In this way researchers gain insight into the same processes that may cause one human to get a disease while another human in the same environment remains disease-free."
The data are available on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/SNP/.