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Even when genetic makeup and mutation is virtually identical in mouse embryos a range of abnormalities are seen to develop was the surprising finding of a research consortium study involving the Dunn School’s Liz Robertson, published in Wellcome Open Research in November 2016. The paper has recently passed peer review and its findings have implications for appreciating the complexity of the development of embryos in humans.

The Wellcome Trust funded consortium, Deciphering the Mechanisms of Development Disorders (DMDD), produced the paper ‘Highly variable penetrance of abnormal phenotypes in embryonic-lethal knockout mice’ based on analysis of high resolution scans of 220 mouse embryos missing one of 42 different genes. The genes studied were ‘embryonic lethal’ - without any one of theme an embryo will not survive to birth.

Read more (Sir William Dunn School of Pathology website)