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Characterizing Other Animals

Many of the tools being developed for genotyping and phenotyping will be able to be used for analysis of other animal cancers as well.  Explore the information on mouse and rat models for an understanding of the available strategies.  As with model organisms, the normal, primary, and secondary tumors will all be amenable to analysis with the same methods.  Some projects aimed specifically at non-laboratory animals are underway, such as the Comparative Oncology Program, and the tools and resources will be available to inform and guide researchers.

For animals without a completed genomic sequence, genotyping is less well supported.  However, there are resources that offer entry points into some aspects of the genes and traits in these organisms. Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) collects this type of data.  OMIA also employs the Mammalian Phenotype Ontology (MP) that aids in cross-species comparisons of phenotypes.

Genotyping

As more genomes are completed, the same technologies that are used commonly to assess human, mouse, and rat genotypes will be available for other species.  Cytogenetic methods are applicable across many species.  Array technologies are agnostic on species, as long as the genomic framework is available for deposition on the arrays.  And next-generation high-throughput sequencing can be applied to any animal too.  Existing PCR and fragment polymorphism methods are easily adaptable to any system. 

Phenotyping

As non-laboratory species are generally very variable and outbred, there are fewer standards and protocols in place to guide the analysis of normal and abnormal conditions.  Veterinary books and resources would be excellent sources for the basic biology and physiological data that may be used in evaluating phenotypes in other animals, such as Small Animal Clinical Oncology