Scientists outside the project are being lured, too. Samir Kelada, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of NIH head Francis Collins, has already used around 160 pre-CC mice to study gene-environment interactions that cause allergic asthma. They include those that remain perfectly healthy after receiving large doses of asthma allergens and those that wheeze before testing even begins. “They’re just so diverse,” Kelada says.
The CC leaders hope that more researchers like Kelada will use the freely available resource. Unless the project’s founders, who are primarily geneticists, can convince physiologists and biochemists to examine the mice, “the impact is going to be very limited,” Attie says. Threadgill agrees: “There is no doubt we have to bring in people who are experts in physiology and behavior. We really want it to be a community resource.”
Note: This story was originally printed with the title "Mouse Mash-Up"