In keeping with the recent knockout mouse Nobel Prize award, I wanted to highlight a transgenesis paper in this month’s CSH Protocols from Richard Behringer and colleagues, on the use of transposon-containing plasmids and transposase-encoding mRNA for the generation of transgenic rats.

The method, available here, gives an average transformation efficiency of close to 80%, which is impressive compared to traditional microinjection methods for rat transgenesis, which result in founders somewhere between 3 and 41%.

On a side note, I’ve known Richard for a long time and he has always been at the cutting edge of technologies such as these. He’s shared his expertise with the community for years as an instructor at the CSHL Mouse Course and as a co-author on two of the authoritative manuals in the field, Manipulating The Mouse Embryo and Mouse Phenotypes. His headless Lim1 mice led to headlines, and more recent work on limb development in bats is fascinating as well (see photo below, from Creteko and Behringer–I’ve tried to convince him for years that there’s a fortune to be made selling images of bat embryos to Goth kids, but to no avail).Bat Embryogenesis