GEMs MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS


Does Vascular Catheterization in Mice Impact Health?

Vascular catheterization is commonly used to sample blood and administer compounds to mice and rats, but does it have physiological impact? Researchers may assume that catheterization and automated blood sampling has no effect on the test subject, but a new study sheds doubt on that assumption. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Karolinska Institutet published a paper titled "Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce...

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Animal Models for Zika Virus Infection

Researchers at the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine published a paper demonstrating that Zika virus could be transmitted sexually. "In addition to transmission by mosquitoes," they report, "ZIKV can be detected in the seminal fluid of affected males for extended periods of time". They evaluated the consequences of infection in several strains of mice, including C57BL/6, congenic Rag1−/−, and congenic Axl−/−. They observed "persistence...

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Variations within Outbred Strains: Know Your Strains and Stocks

The Sprague Dawley® (SD) rat is one of the most popular outbred stocks, with application across many therapeutic areas as well as ADMET studies. The SD is an outbred stock, meaning that there is genetic variation within the stock, and each individual varies in genetic makeup. Genetic variation is maintained through well-defined rotational mating schemes, which are designed to maintain heterozygosity within the population over time. The...

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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 Biosciences' 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...

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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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