Prof. Dr. Johannes Schenkel

Mouse embryo

Mouse embryo, a few days after cell divisions have started

In order to obtain meaningful data in biomedical research, experiments using model organisms are indispensable. Mice are the most important laboratory animals used in cancer research. A key role is played by what are called transgenic mouse lines – animals carrying one or more defined mutations in their hereditary material which they pass on in a stable manner. Producing and characterizing such transgenic lines involves tremendous effort. Because of their high scientific value these lines need to be secured from loss, e.g., by continuous breeding. In order to preserve the lines while avoiding the preservation breeding of about 40,000 laboratory animals each year, we have established a mouse embryo bank containing cryopreserved (deep-frozen) mouse embryos and mouse spermatozoa. This enables us to keep the lines of transgenic mice available at any time while dramatically reducing the need for laboratory animals. To date, about 190 mutant mouse lines have been cryopreserved. The embryo bank is also an important contribution to animal protection.


German Cancer Research Center

Prof. Dr. Johannes Schenkel

Im Neuenheimer Feld 280
69120 Heidelberg

Tel: +49 6221 42 3350

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