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 60 years through our commitment to anticipating clients’ needs and industry trends. One of the key trends of the past ten years involves our clients’ need to strategically outsource functional areas of their R&D programs. When companies, academic institutions, government agencies and others outsource certain R&D functions they begin to rely on their collaborators, such as Taconic, to keep them apprised of emerging science and technologies in our specific areas of expertise.
In this spirit of collaboration, we present "Taconic Insights", a new section of our website dedicated to educating the industry on key scientific and technological trends impacting biopharmaceutical R&D. Here you will find the latest insights Taconic can provide in the form of articles, white papers, videos, webinars, presentations, and other media.

Effective Communication Improves Quality

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Let's listen in on a hypothetical conversation between a scientist and their procurement department where communication is being used ineffectively: PROCUREMENT OFFICER seated at desk. Enter a SCIENTIST. SCIENTIST: Order me twenty-four B6 mice. Males and Females. Seven weeks of age. PROCUREMENT: (Thinking to themselves) Same scientist, same number of mice from three months ago, I can just replicate the order. (To Scientist) OK. When do you...  Read More

Pros and Cons of Statins

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HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, or Statins, are a class of lipid-lowering medications prescribed to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. First introduced to the market in 1987, statins are one of the most commonly prescribed medications today with around 40 million users in the US alone annually1,2. However, new studies have questioned whether statins are over-prescribed and if they are causing more harm to certain patients than...  Read More

How Are Animal Models Validated?

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Animal models have led to significant leaps in understanding and advancement in human medicine. They are essential for drug discovery and connecting hypothesis-driven benchwork to the patient. However, scientists have struggled with how to define the value of a given animal model1. Animal Model Validation In 1969, McKinney and Bunney were the first to propose criteria on external validity of animal models, mainly focused on affective disorders2....  Read More

'Twas the End of the Year

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With apologies to Clement C. Moore 'Twas the end of the year, and in laboratories throughout Scientists were working, to get that last paper out; The final experiments were designed with true care, In the hopes of results and citations so rare. The protocols were written and IACUC form submitted, All resources accounted for, tagged and committed. The technicians in lab coats and experiments underway, Seemed to...  Read More

A Deep Dive into AI-based Animal Body Part Detection

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Photo courtesy of Dr. Alexander Mathis Animal behavior can provide valuable scientific insight, from assessing model validity of a disease state to understanding the function of complex neural circuits6,12. Accurately tracking an animal's body parts (such as limbs, digits, ears, snout, tail) is especially relevant within the neurodegenerative field11, but is difficult without highly specialized and demanding equipment. Many of the commercial systems and open source software...  Read More

Modelling Autophagy in Cellular Processes

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Autophagy in Cellular Processes Autophagy is derived from Greek and means self(auto)-eating(phagy). This process occurs in all eukaryotic cell types that contain a lysosomal compartment. In fact, basal autophagy contributes to long-lived protein degradation, organelle turnover in the cytoplasm, and the recycling of macromolecules to maintain bioenergetics1. The purpose of autophagy is not solely the simple elimination of materials, but rather the dynamic recycling of cellular components...  Read More

Bacteria Making Headlines in 2018

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In the last few months, multiple bacterial species have been making headlines. This review will outline three types of bacteria and how specific strains may prevent or encourage the development of bacterial infections. I) Escherichia coli (E. coli) The strain that is undoubtedly the most familiar to the general public is E. coli. Once again, romaine lettuce has been abandoned by supermarkets and restaurants as per advice...  Read More

Nobel Awarded to Immuno-Oncology Pioneers

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The 2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their contributions in the field of Immuno-Oncology. The Immuno-Oncology revolution has improved quality of life and decreased cancer mortality rates, though cancer remains the second leading cause of death worldwide. Immuno-Oncology Databases A variety of models played key roles in the development of cancer therapies, such as xenograft and syngeneic mouse...  Read More

Wash Your Hands

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National Handwashing Awareness Week — December 2-8 The week of December 2nd is National Handwashing Awareness week. Moving into winter months and the peak of flu season, spreading awareness of proper handwashing is critical. This is an excellent opportunity to review this and other hygiene practices with animal care staff. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls hand washing "a do-it-yourself vaccine." According to the...  Read More

Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

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As Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month concludes we review the state of Alzheimer's disease (AD) research, its biological mechanisms, and available in vivo research models of AD. Alzheimer's Disease Overview Since the original National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month in November 1983, the number of afflicted patients in the US has risen from two to five million; it is projected to increase to 14 million by 20501. AD is...  Read More