The Jackson Laboratory awarded second U.S. patent for 'freezing’ cumulative genetic drift in mice

Date: March 2, 2012
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Bar Harbor, Maine – The Jackson Laboratory has received a second U.S. patent for its innovative process that ensures long-term genetic continuity of its major laboratory mouse strains.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded the first patent for the Laboratory’s Genetic Stability Program (GSP) in 2009. In February 2012 a second U.S. patent was issued (Patent No. 8,110,721), extending the scope of the first patent to produce genetically stabilized inbred strains. Combined, the patents strengthen the Laboratory’s ability to prevent cumulative genetic drift in inbred mouse strains by the innovative use of specially prepared stocks of frozen embryos, gametes or pregametes.

“We’re proud that the U.S. Patent Office has granted this new patent, and for what it represents to the scientific community in maintaining genetic consistency of major mouse strains over time,” says Michael V. Wiles, Ph.D., Jackson’s senior director of technology development and evaluation. “In addition this innovative technology has been awarded patents in Australia, China and Singapore.”

As part of its mission, the nonprofit Laboratory distributes genetically defined mice as a service to the worldwide scientific community. The GSP, first developed in 2003, helps the Laboratory maintain genetic continuity, essentially slowing genetic drift of its major inbred mouse strains, including C57BL/6J.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., a future institute in Farmington, Conn., and a total staff of about 1,400. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human disease, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.


Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058, The Jackson Laboratory

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