The extensively studied laboratory mouse has proved invaluable in genetics research. Humans and mice share virtually all their genes, and the genes are on average 85 percent identical. The similarity is particularly striking in important protein-coding regions.
Research on mice can be a great help in understanding human diseases, for example. Researchers often track mouse diseases that resemble human conditions, and use mice to investigate the root causes of diseases and how they might be treated.
The mouse genome is approximately equal in size to that of the human genome, even though the mouse has 20 chromosome pairs and humans have 23. The genetic map for the mouse completed in 1996 had more than 7,000 markers, with an average marker density of one every 400,000 base pairs.
Dietrich, W.F., Miller, J., Steen, R., Merchant, M.A., Damron-Boles, D., Husain, Z., Dredge, R., et al. A comprehensive genetic map of the mouse genome. Nature, 380: 149-52. 1996. [PubMed]
Last Reviewed: May 9, 2013