Taconic Insights

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.

Visitors are encouraged to comment and ask questions via the form at the bottom of each Insight.

Measles Outbreak Reaches Record Levels

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As of May 2019, the World Health Organization is reporting that the number of measles cases worldwide has quadrupled compared to the same time last year. In the US alone, there have been 1,022 cases thus far in 2019, making this the highest number of reported cases in almost twenty years1. Measles was considered eradicated in the US in the year 2000. However, since 2010, there has...  Read More

Studying Genetic and Physiological Effects of Space Travel

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An article published recently in Science highlights the unique journey of two identical twins — Mark and Scott Kelly — who have enabled the study of extended space flight and the effects it has on the human body. Together, they spent a combined 574 days in space. Both are retired US Navy Captains and astronauts. Since identical twins share the same genetic makeup, studying the changes that...  Read More

Mouse Kidney Parvovirus (MKPV) - A New Mouse Pathogen

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The kidneys of immunodeficient mice infected with MKPV appear pale and shrunken on gross necropsy. Histology reveals significant fibrosis. Source: Roediger et al. Cell 20181. A consortium of researchers from Australia and the US has announced the discovery of a novel mouse parvovirus, named mouse kidney parvovirus or MKPV. They report this highly infectious pathogen causes inclusion body nephropathy (a type of kidney disease) and eventually renal...  Read More

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

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