Teachers: Donata Orioli (6 CFU)
The aim of the course is to give basic and advanced knowledge on transgenic animals, ranging from the Drosophila, C. elegans, Xenopus laevis and Zebrafish organisms to the Mouse system.
It covers the techniques and applications of knock-out, knock-in and knock-down animals, as well as the generation and use of conditional transgenic organisms designed to inactivate, express and silence genes in an inducible, tissue-specific manner. Besides homologous recombination, the course faces the use of zinc-finger nucleases and TALENS recombinant proteins for the purpose of targeting DNA on specific loci. Moreover, the course describes large-scale approaches of functional genomics in transgenic animals, like gene-trapping and genome-wide screenings by RNAi libraries. It includes a discussion on the mouse system as an invaluable genetic tool to engineer strains that show disease conditions similar to those of human disorders and some “disease model” mouse strains are detailed described. The topics include the subject of genetic reprogramming by cell-cell fusion, nuclear transfer technology (animal cloning) and generation of induced Pluripotent Stem cells (iPS).