What is a Model Organism?

A Model Organism is an organism used in research and experiments to discover the effects of a specific change under the highly controlled conditions of the laboratory.

How many Model Organisms are there?

There are hundreds of different Model Organisms ranging from microbial bacteria such as E.Coli, to Rats, our site lists just a few. Each has its advantages and disadvantages so to it is important to select the correct organism for your research goal.

How do you select which Model Organism to use?

When choosing Model Organisms many things have to be taken into account:

  • The relevance of the chosen organism to the research, is it representative?
  • Ease of study, can you get at the embryo?
  • Are they easy to develop and maintain?
  • What research techniques can you use with that organism?
  • Expense of the organism, does it need a carefully maintained enviroment?
  • Has the organisms genome has been mapped?

What will happen with Model Organisms in the future?

As research continues to progress, many of the big questions are being answered, but there are many unanswered questions and many unmapped genomes. It will remain unethical, awkward and difficult to use humans as research models and so there will still be a need for Model Organisms and they will still produce information on a wide variety of biological mechanisms and play a key role in medical research. 

Which is the most important Model Organism?

It would be difficult to identify one Model Organism as the most important as many have made invaluable research contributions. The following 5 Organisms are sometimes referred to as 'The Security Council of Biology', they are Drosophila Melangoster, Yeast, Nematode, E. coli, and Mice. Therefore it could be said that they are the most important and most widely used.

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