Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Cost, Rules, Etc

  1. Sep 8, 2005 #1
    Hi I was wondering:

    How much does it cost to do (legal) genetic experiments involving animals?

    What's the minimum amount of time/the average of time experiments like that take?

    Would you have to do something like that at a university with animal facilities, or could you do it other places as well?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It's really dependent on what type of "genetic experiment" you are talking about. If you go for something fairly standard such as a knockout of some specific protein, it will probably start around $10,000. The time required is generally based on the animal breeding schedule - typical mouse gestation of 19-20 days, plus 60 more days to reach breeding age. This is further complicated by the fact that the product you select may inhibit development/breeding. It could be embryonically lethal, thus no surviving pups, and even if some pups survive, they may not be viable breeders. All this adds time and money to the mix. You also need to determine if a heterozygous or homozygous knockout is required, or do you want both. Once you get a reliable transgenic, you may have to back cross it with another strain to achieve the background you desire, this usually takes about 10 generations and more money. All this time you have to monitor the status of the transgene and the health and well-being of your animals. It's really quite an undertaking. Minimum time, with no major complications, probably two to three years.
    There are many commercial labs that do this as well as university-associated laboratories. A google search will find them for you.
  4. Sep 8, 2005 #3
    Essentially I wanted to know how much it would cost, how long it would take, etc to get the experiment described below done successfully, (assuming that it could be done successfully) Anyways thanks

    Specifically, I wanted to use slime mold genes to make the brain of one multi-cellular organism (eg a cat) connect up to another brain (of the same type of organism) because slime molds can connect up to each other to form one organism. I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish that, but this is the info I have on how to accomplish that

    First, you will need to contruct a protein expression cassette. To do so, the gene of interrest you have to be inserted after two specific DNA region. the first region would control the expression of the protein in a specific tissue and the other region would be the signal protein sequence required for proper localization of the protein in a specific the cellular area. Once this is constructed and inserted in the proper vector, the organism can be transformed. You would have to get the slime mold gene into the right part of the genome so that it is only expressed in the cells outside the organ in question. Hypothetically this should be possible since certain regions in the genome are turned on and off in different cells, so if you put this gene in a postion which is only transcribed by thse cells there shouldn't be a problem.

    Anyways thanks
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2005
  5. Sep 8, 2005 #4
    I'm writing this in both threads in regards to what one person said:

    I don't want to do any experiments with cats/animals...I just want some answers. I like animals. If somebody said it was possible to do what I wanted to do, and so on, then okay yes hypothetically I would maybe want some sort of experiments with animals done regarding that....but I would want any animal experiments (Especially ones involving me in some way) to be legal and humane as possible, etc. Plus if the experiments (Especially ones involving me in some way) are going to be done on animals who were going to be experimented on anyway, it's sort of like, whatever, they were screwed to begin with. And while I support animal rights and so on, I wouldn't act like PETA, who in my opinion breaks into labs and so on to "rescue" animals
  6. Sep 9, 2005 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The problem you are facing is that it is most likely not a single protein in the slime mold genome that is responsible for the ability of these organisms to "hookup", but a whle host of communication and interactions that takes plae. I would assume that it's a rather complex process even for such a "simple" species. Even if you were somehow able to identify the key players in this process, it's not just the process that's at work, but it's also the environment. The simple organization of the slime mold enables it to permit such melding but the human brain is way to complicated to make anything even close to this a viable experiment.
  7. Sep 9, 2005 #6
    I was talking more about, for example, a mouse brain or a cat brain or something than a human brain anyways
  8. Sep 9, 2005 #7
    I think it depends on if you know what you're doing. Your description of the experiment sounds pretty complicated!
  9. Sep 11, 2005 #8
    do you know exactly how slime molds connect up to each other?
    I don't know much about them but I'm pretty sure they signal to each other to come together and somehow form connections. It could be one protein in a slime mold doing this but I think the largest problem you have with this idea is anatomy. A cat or dog's anatomy is orders of magnitude more complicated than a slime mold. I would question if it is not as complicated as a human, it probably is just as complicated. Also slime molds are not connecting brains. This protein that lets these slime molds connect is probably specific to the types of cells it is connecting. You could express a protein in a cell but its got to be the right type of cell to get the protein to do what you want to do. Its just as important to when and where a protein is expressed as to what protein it is.

    if you really wanted to do an experiment like this, i would do it in neuronal cell culture first.
    its way more feasible and cost friendly,
    plus it would tell you if your protein works as you predict in neurons
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2005
  10. Sep 11, 2005 #9
    Where could I get an experiment like this done in neuronal cell culture(s)? I mean, what would be the best way to go about getting that done/finding someone who will do it?

  11. Sep 11, 2005 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You obviously have no training or knowledge of the field, so I don't think it will be possible to get such experiments done even if you hire someone else to do it for you.
  12. Sep 11, 2005 #11
    Well I mean...I'll admit I really don't know anything about biology...

    but don't you think that it was an interesting concept...

    it wasn't like I was saying "i know everything about biology"

    But anyways, thanks for your insight though, I mean it was what I came here to ask for
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2005
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?