Gene knockout facts for kids
The organisms, such as knockout mice, are used to learn about a gene that has been sequenced, but whose function is unknown or incompletely known. Researchers draw inferences from the difference between the knockout organism and normal individuals. Knockout is often abbreviated as KO.
Gene knock-in is the opposite term. There a gene is switched on, or a working gene inserted.
If so, embryonic stem cells are genetically transformed and inserted into early embryos. Resulting animals with the genetic change in their germline cells can then often pass the gene knockout to future generations.
Images for kids
A knockout mouse (left) that is a model of obesity, compared with a normal mouse.
Wild-type Physcomitrella and knockout mosses: Deviating phenotypes induced in gene-disruption library transformants. Physcomitrella wild-type and transformed plants were grown on minimal Knop medium to induce differentiation and development of gametophores. For each plant, an overview (upper row; scale bar corresponds to 1 mm) and a close-up (bottom row; scale bar equals 0.5 mm) are shown. A: Haploid wild-type moss plant completely covered with leafy gametophores and close-up of wild-type leaf. B–D: Different mutants.
Gene knockout Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.