A new world of research possibilities with 'Emerging Model Organisms'

November 21, 2008
Emerging Model Organisms
A representative collection of the emerging model organisms described in the book are shown. Clockwise, from the top, are the comb jelly (Ctenophora), the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), an example of Darwin's finches (the Galapagos finches), the nematode Pristionchus pacificus, the leech (Helobdella robusta), the garden snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus), surface and cave individuals of the Mexican Cave Fish (Astyanax mexicanus), and the American wandering spider (Cupiennius salei). Credit: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

How can moss help us to treat Alzheimer's disease? What can the lamprey immune system tell us about evolution? Can genetic studies of snapdragon populations help with efforts to conserve rare species? What can quail teach us about human aging, reproduction, and hereditary diseases? Will studies of choanoflagellates unravel the origins of animals?

To answer these and other questions in biology, scientists are increasing the array of experimental model organisms. These novel species—some relatively new to the laboratory and others undergoing a recent expansion—are the focus of Emerging Model Organisms, a new laboratory manual just released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Emerging Model Organisms is a catalog of diverse species that will be useful for extending research in new directions. In this volume, leading experts provide chapters on 23 emerging model systems, ranging from bat and butterfly to cave fish and choanoflagellates, and from cricket and finch to quail, snail, and tomato.

Until recently, a small number of organisms—such as E. coli, fruit fly, Arabidopsis, C. elegans, and mouse—have been the primary focus of research in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. But in the last few years, due in part to technical advances, the reduced costs of genome sequencing, and increased interest in evolution, the range of organisms used for research has greatly expanded. Emerging Model Organisms introduces the reader to this new generation of model organisms that provide opportunities to address new and unusual questions in biology, especially in the areas of evolution and development.

Each chapter includes a detailed explanation of why the system is useful for research, along with information on care and culture of the organism, its genetics and genomics, and a set of basic protocols for working with it in the laboratory. The book is geared towards research scientists at all levels—from graduate students to principal investigators.

For a complete table of contents and list of species in Emerging Model Organisms, Volume 1, see www.cshlpress.com/link/emop.htm. Subsequent releases of the Emerging Model Organisms series, already in preparation, will focus on additional species. Emerging Model Organisms is also available online from the methods journal Cold Spring Harbor Protocols (www.cshprotocols.org/emo).

Source: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Explore further: New Zika clone could be new model for developing vaccine

Related Stories

New Zika clone could be new model for developing vaccine

August 23, 2016

Stopping the explosive spread of Zika virus - which can lead to birth defects in babies born to infected mothers - depends on genetic insights gleaned through new tools and models. Researchers at the National Institutes of ...

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

Flood forecasting gets major upgrade

August 25, 2016

The recent floods in Louisiana have reminded the nation of the devastation these disasters can cause, resulting in more than a dozen deaths and damaging more than 40,000 homes. David Maidment, a civil engineering researcher ...

Perinatal psychiatry, birth trauma and perinatal PTSD

August 25, 2016

It is now blatantly clear that a woman's increased vulnerability to developing PTSD is closely linked to that fact that, when compared to a man, she is much more likely to be the victim of the toxic traumas of childhood sexual ...

Recommended for you

The rise and fall of galaxy formation

August 30, 2016

An international team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Eric Persson, has charted the rise and fall of galaxies over 90 percent of cosmic history. Their work, which includes some of the most sensitive astronomical measurements ...

Defend or grow? These plants do both

August 30, 2016

From natural ecosystems to farmers' fields, plants face a dilemma of energy use: outgrow and outcompete their neighbors for light, or defend themselves against insects and disease.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.