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Common Laboratory Mouse Strains: A Beginner's Guide


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Full course description

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MiniCourse Overview

This MiniCourse is self-paced and takes 1 to 2 hours to complete. At the end of the MiniCourse, you will be able to understand essential concepts related to common laboratory mouse strains. You will receive a certificate for completing the MiniCourse. In order to claim a certificate or badge for this MiniCourse, you must go through the Core Content module and take the self-review quiz (scoring at least 70%). 


The following topics will be discussed:
  • Breeding schemes of commonly used laboratory mouse strains
  • Inbred, outbred and hybrid nomenclature
  • How substrains develop
  • Genetic drift and the reproducibility dilemma
  • Strategies to reduce genetic drift
  • Resources to find the right inbred mouse for your experimental plan
  • Animal health monitoring and mouse room housing conditions
Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

    1. Determine breeding schemes used to produce inbred, outbred and hybrid mice
    2. Recognize official nomenclature for inbred and hybrid strains
    3. Comprehend how substrains develop
    4. Recognize the impact of genetic drift on experimental reproducibility
    5. Implement strategies to minimize genetic drift
    6. Discover where to find baseline phenotypic information about different inbred mouse strains before starting an experiment
    7. Recognize the importance of Animal Health Monitoring
    8. Determine the barrier level of mice housed at JAX
    9. Implement proper acclimation of mice in your facility
    10. Appraise current, relevant research highlights

Target Audience

This MiniCourse is designed to meet the needs of people who are new to utilizing laboratory mice for genetic and genomic research projects, including: graduate and postdoctoral students, research assistants, early career scientists, lab technicians, and advanced undergraduates with a background in biology.

About our Education Offerings

Founded in 1929, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution with more than 2,300 employees who are passionate about our mission: to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and to empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

While we are not an accredited higher education institution, we offer a variety of education programs — including our non-credit bearing MiniCourses — designed to educate current and future scientists and to provide critical resources, data, tools and services to researchers worldwide.

MiniCourses are created and reviewed by multiple JAX faculty, scientists, educators and other experts, and include interactive content based on the live lectures delivered in our on-campus Courses, Conferences and Workshops.

MiniCourses are available to learners individually and in topical program collections, which are organized around both foundational content and the research areas in which The Jackson Laboratory has earned a reputation for scientific leadership and excellence.

Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Audio speakers or headphones
  • Screen resolution of 800X600 or higher
  • Adobe Reader 5.0 or higher
  • JavaScript enabled
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GHz processor

Check the basic computer specifications and supported browsers.
Should you have questions regarding the content of the MiniCourse or if you need technical support, please email Online and Digital Education at The Jackson Laboratory.