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.

Build or Buy: Animal Model Licensing in the Age of CRISPR

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Genetically modified mice and rats have been around for decades. But, until recently, the cost and effort involved in generating genetically engineered models (GEMs) using the available technologies were relatively high. This meant that requesting access to a model described in the literature was the fastest way to start a research project with that reagent, even if the material transfer agreement (MTA) or license process delayed transfer...  Read More

International NASH Day

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The second annual International NASH Day took place on June 12, 2019. This day of action was launched last year to bring awareness to the global epidemic of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis). A coalition of worldwide organizations supported this effort including the American Liver Foundation, the Global Liver Institute and the NASH Education Program. According to a press release from the American Liver Foundation, "Millions of Americans are...  Read More

FDA Issues Safety Alert on Investigational Use of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

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Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the transfer of fecal matter from a healthy individual into a recipient with the goal of treating an ailment. In its simplest form FMT has been used to treat disease with reports detailing its use as far back as 1700 years ago in China1. Modern applications of this procedure have been developed to treat Clostridium difficile infections, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome...  Read More

What is a Xenograft?

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The term xenograft refers to a tissue or organ that is derived from a species that is different from the recipient of the specimen. They are powerful research tools in oncology as well as essential for treating wounds in the clinic. This Insight will highlight a few key uses of xenografts and why they are important to research studies. Xenografts in the Treatment of Skin Injuries In...  Read More

Mitochondrial DNA and Cellular Metabolism

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Inside each cell exist many complex smaller structures known as organelles. These micrometer-sized structures work to maintain intracellular transport, signaling, energy production, protein translation, DNA replication, and other essential cellular processes. One organelle which differs distinctly from others is the mitochondrion. In addition to generating the cell's energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), mitochondria have their own DNA and replicate by binary fission. Mitochondrial DNA...  Read More

Iron, Oxidative Stress, and Cancer Risk

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Oxidative stress is defined as "a disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses1". Long term oxidative stress on cells has been shown to be a key promoter of the development of disease; particularly cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders, hypertension, stroke, and arthritis2. Oxidative Stress and Cancer Risk Many cellular processes are negatively affected by increased oxidative stress, one,...  Read More

Should You Have a Lab Animal Health Status or Standard?

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When considering animal health in your research or ordering mice from a commercial provider, which is more significant: a health status or a health standard? While the words "status" and "standard" seem similar, there are clear differences in their definitions and how you might apply each to a health monitoring, detection and reporting system. Let's start by defining our terms: Status — state or condition of affairs...  Read More

Phage therapy as an alternative to antibiotics

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Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections have been on the rise for decades, forcing researchers to investigate alternatives to antibiotic treatments. Phage therapy, a century-old technique that utilizes viruses to attack bacteria, has therefore gained interest in the last few years as a potential alternative treatment for MDR infections. Advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioengineering have enabled the development of this type of precision anti-bacterial therapy that can...  Read More

Which Cre Strain Should You Use?

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Unique in its complexity, modelling the central nervous system (CNS) has long represented a challenge with a complete characterization of constituent cells and circuits arguably unfinished. Indeed, one of the major goals behind the 2013 launch of the BRAIN Initiative was to "identify and provide experimental access to the different brain cell types to determine their roles in health and disease." Developing Neuroscience Research Models Multiple mouse...  Read More

Nude Mice, Xenografts, and Treating Baldness

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A recent article published in the Columbia Magazine highlights the work of researcher Angela Christiano and her radical solutions to addressing baldness. Dr. Christiano has been working on studies involving hair loss since 1996, with one of her most notable achievements being the discovery of a 'hairless gene' (HR) in 19981. One of her recent advancements in this field has been the growth of human hair follicles...  Read More