Taconic Insights

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Biopharmaceutical Trends and R&D

Taconic Biosciences has remained one of the world's leading providers of research models and services for over 65 years through our commitment to anticipating clients’ needs and industry trends. Through our Insights blog, we report on the newest research in the biopharmaceutical industry, provide expert advice regarding the maintenance of murine colonies, as well as comment on R&D and public health news.

Animal Models and Infectious Disease

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Animal models play a critical role in studying a variety of infectious diseases, from lyme to influenza and salmonella, and selecting an appropriate model system for each is key. Both immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice have a role to play in infectious disease studies. Inbred Mouse Models Inbred, immunocompetent mice are often chosen for infectious disease studies, and different inbred strains can show varying susceptibility to a particular...  Read More

What is Cytochrome P450?

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Cytochromes P450 (CYP) is a superfamily of proteins involved in metabolism and inactivation of foreign substances and toxins. Each protein in this family is highly specialized with unique, dedicated pathways inside the cell. CYPs are transmembrane proteins commonly found in the plasma membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum in liver cells and interact with ligands on both sides1. Using heme as a cofactor, these proteins aid in the...  Read More

Transportation Affects Gut Microbiome of Laboratory Mice

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Experimental controls are at the center of every quality experiment, and understanding the causes of microbiome variability is key to controlling for microbiome-related effects. Researchers that utilize murine models attempt to control for possible microbiome variability by ordering mice from the same vendor, using littermate controls, and employing co-housing strategies1. Given the ongoing research reproducibility crisis, it is vital to understand potential factors that contribute to microbiome...  Read More

Sexual dimorphism in fear learning memory due to epigenetic modification by Cdk5

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Epigenetics of FLM, Stress, and NeuroDegenerative Disease The epigenetic post-translational modifications of histone (hPTMs) is a notable cellular response mechanism to environmental stimuli2. Emerging reports point to the sexual dimorphism of epigenetic hPTMs within the neurobehavioral context of fear, learning, and memory (FLM), in neurodegenerative diseases, as well as stress- and trauma- related disorders3,4. Developmental and Functional Roles of Cdk5 One important protein in cognitive functions is...  Read More

The IL-2 NOG: An Optimal Model for the Testing of CAR T cell Therapy in Solid Tumors

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The power of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy has been demonstrated in the unparalleled clinical efficacy of the FDA approved anti CD19-CAR-T cell treatment for B-cell malignancies5. However, development of CAR-T immunotherapy from the liquid to the solid tumor front has been difficult with numerous challenges3,4. Could IL-2 NOG humanized mice be the tool researchers need to bridge this gap? T-Cell Therapy Challenges To date,...  Read More

How Animal Model Handling Affects Your Research

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Researchers who regularly work with mice and rats understand that incorrect handling practices creates unnecessary stress for the animal. If one is new to working with preclinical animal models, or is introducing a new strain to their work, a quick refresher on the benefits of correct handling procedures could be very useful. Improper Animal Handling Causes Stress Certain stressors that affect mice and rats cannot be avoided....  Read More

Studying T Cell Distribution in Syngeneic Tumor Models

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In a recent article in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Khot et al. examined the pharmacokinetics (PK) of exogenously administered T cells in a syngeneic tumor model. As immuno-oncology therapeutics expand into cell-based therapies, such as CAR-T cells, this type of research is needed to support their development. Khot et al. provide valuable insight into the PK of T cell-based therapeutics in this new paper....  Read More

Market Growth of Immuno-oncology Drugs Improve Cancer Treatments

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The approval of Ipilimumab (Yervoy®, BMS) in 2011 finally offered hope to metastatic melanoma patients — and set off a revolution in cancer treatment. Since 2011, regulatory agencies have approved eleven more immunotherapy drugs. Immunotherapy research continues to explode. There are close to thirty approved drugs that stimulate the immune system to kill cancerous cells1. As of September 2018, there were over 3,300 active immuno-oncology agents in...  Read More

EACR 2019 Conference Series Review

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The EACR Conference on Immuno-Oncology attracted academic and pharmaceutical researchers from all over the world to the Casa Milà in Barcelona, Spain. Attendees shared their recent findings in fundamental and translational research and discussed clinical studies in immuno-oncology and immunotherapy. EACR 2019 Immuno-Oncology Conference Series This Insight only highlights a small fraction of the discussions, seminars and presentations from this year's conference series. Speakers Richard Flavell and...  Read More

Overview of Genetic Modification Techniques

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The first genetically-modified mouse capable of transferring its modified genome to offspring was developed in the early 1980s. Since then, multiple genetic modification techniques have been developed to modify rodent genomes and are still commonly used today. Random and targeted transgenesis are commonly used today to study the effects of incorporating exogenous DNA for the purposes of expressing proteins not normally present in mice and rats, while...  Read More

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