Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Transgenic Mice With Widest Known Range Of Vision Among Mammals Created To Investigate Human Vision Problems, Evolution Of Sight

Date:
May 13, 1998
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
Researchers have succeeded in introducing a gene that produces a human photopigment into laboratory mice, creating transgenic rodents that have the widest known spectral range of vision of any mammal.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Researchers have succeeded in introducing a gene that produces a human photopigment into laboratory mice, creating transgenic rodents that have the widest known spectral range of vision of any mammal.

Electrophysiological test indicates the pigment functions normally in the mice and the gene is transferable from one generation to another, according to the researchers from the University of Washington and the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Creation of the transgenic mice will give scientists a new vehicle for studying human vision problems, as well as a tool for investigating the evolution of sight and how the nervous system reacts to new sources of information, says Michael Crognale, a UW research assistant professor of psychology and Samir Deeb, a UW research professor of medical genetics.

Deeb will describe the characteristics of the new line of mice at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology here, May 14. The research also was published last week in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

Normal mice and humans both have visual spectral ranges that extend over about 300 nanometers. What the two species see, however, is different. The wild or laboratory mouse's vision stretches from the ultra-violet range, which humans can't see, up through medium wavelengths to yellow-green. Humans see in a spectrum that extends from violet to red.

Mice lack the photopigment or protein that allows them to see long-wave or red light. To expand the spectral range of mouse vision, the researchers introduced the gene that produces human L-photopigment (long wave) into mice embryos. The result is the line of mice that can see over a range of about 360 nanometers, more than humans or old world primates (apes and pack monkeys), which have the widest natural vision range of any mammal, says Crognale. Some birds, insects and fish have even wider vision ranges.

The researchers hope to use the mice to investigate a number of scientific questions. Crognale is interested in understanding how the transgenic mice are able to use information being gathered by the new photopigment.

"We are investigating how the nervous system reacts to new information," he explains. "We want to know how adaptable the neural system is. Does it allow an animal to immediately take advantage of the information or does it first have to develop specialized neural hardware or connections?"

"This relates to questions of human evolution and to understanding how neurons know how or what to connect to. In addition, we are interested in how a new capability or mutation like this is passed along. Some researchers have argued that for a mutation to be conserved it must confer some kind of benefit to the animal, or at least not cost the animal."

Deeb, meanwhile, will look at introducing mutations of the long-wave photopigment into mice to see if they modify cells in the animals' retinas and effect their vision.

Other members of the research team that contributed to developing the mice are Gerald Jacobs, a professor of psychology at the Neuroscience Research Institute at UCSB; Jing Huang, a technician at the UW Department of Ophthalmology; Salam Shaaban, UW post-doctoral researcher now in private industry, and Jack Calderone, a UCSB graduate student.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Transgenic Mice With Widest Known Range Of Vision Among Mammals Created To Investigate Human Vision Problems, Evolution Of Sight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980513080401.htm>.
University Of Washington. (1998, May 13). Transgenic Mice With Widest Known Range Of Vision Among Mammals Created To Investigate Human Vision Problems, Evolution Of Sight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980513080401.htm
University Of Washington. "Transgenic Mice With Widest Known Range Of Vision Among Mammals Created To Investigate Human Vision Problems, Evolution Of Sight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/05/980513080401.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins