Although rats are detested, or at least tolerated, by the majority of people, some individuals find much to admire in them. Among these people are researchers who rely on the rat as an excellent animal model for biological research. The Editorial in the June issue of Nature Methods describes how genetic technologies are opening up new possibilities for research using rats and how researches could benefit by considering rats for their own study. Below is a limited selection of rat resources for those wishing to find out more about this indespensible laboratory animal.
The knockout rat pack – 2010 News piece in Nature Medicine
The genome sequence of the spontaneously hypertensive rat: Analysis and functional significance – 2010 research article in Genome Research
National BioResource Project-Rat and Related Activities – 2009 Review article in Experimental Animals
Rats! – Editorial in Disease Models & Mechanisms
Return of the rat – 2009 story at Nature News
Selected Web Resources
Rat Genome Database – Repository of rat genetic and genomic data. Provides tools to search, mine, and analyze this data as well as information on genomic mapping strains and rat physiology.
Rat Resource and Research Center – Archiving and distribution of high quality, well characterized inbred, hybrid and mutant rats to investigators. [Note: A new and improved website is just weeks away.]
National BioResource Project for the Rat in Japan – Archiving and distribution of rat strains as well as phenotypic and genetic characterization of strains. All information provided in a publicly accessible database.
Rat Genome Project – Genome of the Brown Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) produced by the Rat Genome Sequencing Consortium (RGSC).
EURATRANS: European large-scale functional genomics in the rat for translational research
The European Rat Tools for Functional Genomics (EURATools) consortium
Knock Out Rat Consortium (KORC)