GEMs MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS


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 clearance or mitigate its neurotoxicity has so far been unsuccessful. Here we report the generation of aducanumab, a human monoclonal antibody that...

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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 animal model. Commercial providers often make them available online, or they can be requested from the sending facility. With genetics, using polymerase...

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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 fast may make you plunge into a new project right away. But early missteps in colony management can surface months into a...

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Quality Considerations in the Use of Animal Models

Which elements of quality should you consider when conducting a study with animal models? Let's start with the definition of quality from Merriam-Webster: Quality [qual-i-ty] noun How good or bad something is. A characteristic or feature that someone or something has, something that can be noticed as a part of a person or thing. A high level of value or excellence. There are four elements which affect...

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Congenic Mice: What's in a Name?

Researchers unfamiliar with mouse genetics can be confused by complex strain nomenclature, leaving them unsure how to select controls for a particular test strain. The nomenclature of congenic mice records a wealth of useful information, including both donor and recipient strains and mutations of interest. One common example of this is confusion around background strain for GEM and mutant lines. While it is common now to make...

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Q&A: Diet Induced Obese Mice

Taconic's Product Manager, Jennifer Phelan recently presented a webinar on diet-induced obesity (DIO) in mouse models and the production of obese mice, including important factors in housing and husbandry. Many of your questions went unanswered due to time constraints, so we present those additional questions and answers here: Currently, Taconic does not have in-house data on the diabetic neuropathy of C57BL/6NTac DIO mice, however several publications look...

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Cancer Drug Suggests Promising Alzheimer's Treatment

In a 2015 report, a team of scientist from the Weizmann Institute of Science provided compelling evidence that boosting the immune response in the brain (as opposed to suppressing it) might be a promising avenue for Alzheimer's research. In an extension of its initial findings, the team found that inhibiting an immune-checkpoint pathway which is targeted in the treatment of certain forms of cancer dramatically reduces Alzheimer's...

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C57BL/6 DIO 101: Best Practices for Diet Induced Obesity in Mice

A DIO (diet induced obese) mouse is a C57BL/6 - "Black 6" - mouse which has been made obese through conditioning with a special diet. These diets tend to be high in fat, however there are sometimes other modifications made such as added sugar and there are varying types of fat used to create the diet. View the Taconic Webinar: DIO 101: Diet-induced Obesity in Mice Obese...

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The Dirty Future of Immunology Animal Models

When discrepancies in immune response arise between animal models and humans, some investigators are quick to question the adequacy of laboratory mice as a proxy for human subjects. Two collaborative studies, published in Nature and Cell Host & Microbe, suggest that animal model microbiome and health standards are key to interpreting these discrepancies - and that mice with more extensive history of pathogen exposure may better model...

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Easier Said than Bred: 4 Considerations for Breeding Laboratory Mice

Have you ever had a mouse infestation in your house? This is a pesky problem that can prove difficult to resolve. After all, they breed like... well, mice. So why is it so difficult to breed laboratory mice? Laboratory mice are purpose-bred for specific phenotypes or traits, not to optimize litter size. Quite often, fecundity is sacrificed to attain traits desired for laboratory mouse studies, or breeding...

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