The explosion of genome sequence information has uncovered a wealth of new genes with unexplored functions. But the challenge remains to identify which few of the thousands of new genes will be useful. The challenge, according to Lexicon Genetics Inc., is complicated by the need for an organism in which study of a new gene is relevant to human physiology, so the company is pursuing a path by which it is combining genomic analysis with mouse genetics.

Gene function can be analyzed by deleting a gene and testing what effect that has on an organism. This approach is especially useful in mice, because mouse and human physiology and genome organization are quite similar.