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Advancing Microbiome Research: Microbiome & Disease

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Potomac, MD

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  • Biotechnology Patents and Genetically Modified Organisms

    How do biotechnology patents affect the generation, use and distribution of genetically modified organisms, such as knockout mice or transgenic animal models? What is a licensing agreement and what are the implications of licensing (or not licensing) methods and technologies used in biomedical research? Can... Read more

  • Ensuring Sterile Feed for Germ-Free Mice

    With the increase in institutions that are initiating microbiome studies comes an increase in demands for sterile support materials. Setting up and maintaining isolators to breed and perform studies with germ-free mice is a challenge. There are a number of ways that a biological contaminant... Read more

  • Copy Number Variation, Microdeletion, and Disease

    Copy number variations (CNVs) are duplications and deletions to large (~5kb-5mb) genomic regions found in varying degrees within the human population. These duplications and deletions significantly contribute to human genetic diversity and can dramatically affect gene-dosage. Recently, pathologic and highly-penetrant CNVs have been identified in... Read more


    The microbiome is the collection of microorganisms living in and on an organism, such as a human or mouse. Interest in the microbiome is increasing due to a clearer understanding of the its impact on a number of different physiological systems, as well as the... Read more

  • Alzheimer's Treatment Decreases Plaques, Improves Cognition

    Researchers at Biogen published a pivotal Phase 1b clinical study of an Alzheimer's treatment showing not only a decrease in plaques when the monoclonal antibody aducanumab is administered, but also some cognitive improvement in humans. From the paper: "Antibody-based immunotherapy against Αβ to trigger its... Read more

  • Do Some IBD Treatments Work by Altering the Gut Microbiota?

    An IBD treatment targeting key cytokine components appears to alter the microbiome in mouse models of IBD. What's the connection? Cytokines have been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and modulation of cytokines is one therapeutic... Read more

  • Animal Model Quality: Transportation and Environmental Factors

    What are the most important factors in assessing the quality of an animal model? In Part I, we discussed two of the four quality considerations for using laboratory mice: health and genetics. To recap: It's important to understand the different health standards when assessing an... Read more

  • A Successful Breeding Plan in Five Steps

    "It's just breeding... right?" You may want to carry out large cohort studies within the next 4-6 months, or to quickly recover a cryopreserved line from your collaborator to cross with your own knockout line. How difficult can it be? The temptation of getting there... Read more