A Defect in Nurturing in Mice Lacking the Immediate Early Gene FosB Essay

A Defect in Nurturing in Mice Lacking the Immediate Early Gene FosB Essay

Length: 1407 words (4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Background to the Project

In early 1995, an M.D-Ph.D student, Jennifer Brown, was breeding mice with an inactivated form of the gene FosB. With the inactivation of the gene, healthy pups from the mutated mice died quickly. Observing this occurrance, Brown found that the mother mice ignored her offspring. From this discovery, Brown proposed that the inactivation of the immediate early gene FosB causes a defect in the nurturing behaviors of female mice. To prove this, Brown bred a series of knockout mice with the inactivated FosB gene. She then observed the nurturing behaviors of the knockout mice and compared them to those of the normal mice.

The Test Results

FosB Mutant Development and Abnormalities:

FosB mutant homozygous females were born and developed as any normal mouse, but were ten percent smaller than wild type mice. When the fosB homozygous females were mated with fosB homozygous mutant males, the resulting pregnancies were normal and carried to term. However, twenty-four to fourty-eight hours after delivery, the mortality rate of the pups was in excess of fifty percent. The high occurrance of lethality could be attributed to either the mutant mothers, the mutant pups, or both. To isolate the cause of the high mutant pup mortality rate, heterozygous males were mated with homozygous females and vice versa. As a result, it was found that the number of surviving pups in any given pregnancy relied primarily upon the genotype of the mother, and was independent of father or pup genotype. This supports the idea that the survival relies heavily on the nurturing ability of the fosB mothers.

Physical Trait Analysis:

To isolate the defect in the mother that contributed to the death of her pups, a physical trait ana...

... middle of paper ...

...aper think that this is involved with the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is located in the brain stem.

The gene mutation did not effect any other functions of the mice. This indicates that FosB is exclusive to nurturing behavior. The discovery of the functions of the FosB gene in mice could lead to similar discoveries for the human genome. Ethical ramifications of such discoveries are a hot topic in current scientific society. What questions might be raised by such a discovery? If this gene does exist in humans, should people with mutated alleles not be allowed to raise their children? Should it be corrected in some way by science? Is having a mutated gene an excuse for child abuse? Is it a defense in court? The answers to these questions are not clearly defined, but there are several sources of information for the public to access before making up their minds.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Neurological Effects of Fos B Gene on Behavior of Mice Essay

- The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of the fos B gene and it's neurological effects on the behavior of mice through the analysis of "A Defect in Nurturing in Mice Lacking the Immediate Early Gene fos B" appearing in the July 26 issue of Cell. Through various chemical and behavioral tests it is found that fos B mothers demonstrate an inability to nurture their young. It was shown that the lack of expression of the fos B gene in certain areas of the brain was the probable cause of the lack of the nurturing response in the mutant mice....   [tags: Biology Genetics Mouse]

Strong Essays
1839 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on Genetic Disorders And Gene Therapy

- There are thousands of children born with genetic disorders each year in every part of the world, but unfortunately none of them can be cured, yet. A genetic disorder is a disease that an individual is born with where there is a deformity in his or her DNA. However, with future advancements in medicine, there is a chance that doctors and scientists may be able to detect these gene abnormalities before a child is conceived. What this entails is scanning an egg and/or the sperm of two possible parents and then altering their genetic make-up to eradicate the potential abnormality, or as it is called today, germline gene therapy....   [tags: Genetics, DNA, Gene, Genetic disorder]

Strong Essays
2022 words (5.8 pages)

Gene Thearapy: The Usage of Gene as Medicine Essay

- Introduction The usage of genes as medicine give rise to the concept of 'Gene Therapy'. In the process of Gene therapy, a defective gene copy is repaired by transmitting therapeutic gene copy into those cells of an individual. So thereby, a faulty gene could be replaced or a medical condition may be corrected by introducing a new gene. Gene therapy has a promising future as it is powerful enough to treat many genetic conditions and also other deathly disease like AIDS, cancer etc. Though the potential of "gene therapy" is realized and recognized, it remains still on an experimental level and needs to worked on before accepting as the best solution....   [tags: ethical considerations, gene transfer]

Strong Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Gene Therapy : A Controversial Issue Essay

- Gene therapy has been a very controversial issue since its origin in 1990 when A four-year old girl became the first gene therapy patient. She has adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency, a genetic disease which leaves her defenseless against infections. Gene therapy involves substituting normal genes for the genes associated with a disease or disorder otherwise altering a person’s genetic makeup. Each gene has a specific code for what it is supposed to do. So, on top of our genome, we have a complex epigenome....   [tags: Genetics, Gene, DNA, Genome]

Strong Essays
784 words (2.2 pages)

The Ethics Of Gene Therapy Essay

- There are many people in this world with disorders and diseases that disrupt the balance of crucial proteins in the human body necessary for proper function and survival. Without these important proteins such as enzymes, humans are bound for disability and/or death. Recently, Gene Therapy has been more researched and studied, and is currently being improved and developed for the benefit of mankind. However, with the rise of this new and effective type of therapy, there comes a heavy topic of debate over the ethical issues in bringing this revolutionary research into play....   [tags: Genetics, DNA, Gene, Protein]

Strong Essays
1367 words (3.9 pages)

Gene Therapy : Biological Background Essay example

- Gene Therapy – Biological Background Definition Gene therapy is a medical procedure in which genetic information gets injected into defective human cells for either their correction or modification. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines gene therapy as products: “that mediate their effects by transcription and/or translation of transferred genetic material and/or by integrating into the host genome and that are administered as nucleic acids, viruses, or genetically engineered microorganisms....   [tags: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Virus]

Strong Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

Analysis of Genetic Defect that Prevents AIDS Essay

- Introduction A number of recent studies show overwhelming evidence that there is a genetic factor which presents itself in the human host, and is critical to the ineffectivity of the In Vitro transmission of HIV-1. This genetic factor is an individual defective CKR-5 (also known as "CCR-5") allele containing a 32-base pair deletion in a region of the gene opposite to the second extracellular loop of the receptor. This defect faults the normal expression of the CKR-5 which is the co-receptor for the macrophagic tropic strains of HIV-1....   [tags: Biology Gene HIV]

Free Essays
1789 words (5.1 pages)

Dna Of A Gene Can Cause Cancer Essay

- Mutations within DNA of a gene can cause genes by oncogenes, which result from a mutation that will be an activation of proto-oncogenes, while tumor suppressor genes can also cause cancer by a mutation that knocks out a gene causing it become inactivated. Proto-oncogenes are genes that normally help cells grow but when mutations occur or you get multiple copies of the same gene and it becomes permanently turned on it can become a bad gene. These bad abnormal genes survive and proliferate instead of normally undergoing a programmed apoptosis....   [tags: Cancer, DNA, Tumor suppressor gene, DNA repair]

Strong Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)

Birth Defect: Cerebral Palsy Essay

- Imagine the pain parents feel after getting the bad news that there child is affected by a birth defect. Many parents have to go through this situation in which is not an easy roller-coaster to be on. Many different birth defects are out there in the world and some are more dangerous than others. Studies today prove that birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies every year and cause 1 in 5 infant’s deaths. (National Center on Birth Defects) According to the American Heritage Dictionary, birth defect is a physiological or structural abnormality that develops at or before birth and is present at the time of birth especially as a result of faulty development, infection, or injury....   [tags: impaired muscles, brain damage, disability]

Strong Essays
969 words (2.8 pages)

The Genetic Defect Albinism Essay

- The Genetic Defect Albinism In the past, albinos were usually treated with fear or awe. They were sometimes killed at birth. Albino births were common enough in some groups not to cause any excitement. For example, among the San Blas Indians of Panama, one in approximately 130 births is an albino. In the mid-nineteenth century, albinos were exhibited in sideshows. Whole families were displayed at times and were described as a unique race of might people. They were said to live underground and to come out only at night when the light was dim and would not hurt their eyes....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
2517 words (7.2 pages)