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

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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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 available can record and analyze complex...  Read More

Sex Bias in Animal Model Research

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced new policies in 2014 aimed at requiring NIH-funded researchers to address sex balance in preclinical cell and rodent models. Although exclusion of women in clinical research was identified as problematic decades ago, the preclinical research world has not followed suit. The NIH identified this continued reliance of animal studies on a single sex, often male, as inappropriate: "consideration of sex...  Read More

Rodent Sentinels — A Vital Link in Your Research

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Rodent health monitoring programs (also referred to as rodent health surveillance or sentinel monitoring programs) are designed to detect subclinical infections of rodents that potentially have detrimental effects to the health of the animals or the integrity of your research. Robust sentinel animal protocols are both ethically and scientifically crucial. Sentinel Animal Protocols A health monitoring program is designed to detect infections that may be present within...  Read More

Round Up: Top 5 Insights from the Summer 2018

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Here's our recap of the top Insight posts from the summer you might have missed! 1. Translational Microbiome Infographic Are you beginning your studies in the Microbiome and don't know where to start? Download and print out the Translational Microbiome at a Glance Infographic to give you a quick reference into this valuable area of research — Find out more! 2. New PBMC-Humanized Mice Support Efficient NK-Cell...  Read More

CASIS Announces Request for Proposals to Access Spaceflight Biospecimens

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The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) recently announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for investigators seeking to access biological specimens from its Rodent Research Reference Mission-1, Applications for Spaceflight Biospecimens. The BALB/c mice for the space flight are provided by Taconic Biosciences. Taconic Biosciences has provided mice and rats for spaceflight research since 1985. CASIS intends to send 40 BALB/c mice of two...  Read More

Smartphones Can Contaminate Laboratory Animal Colonies

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As people increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets, it should come as no surprise that this trend also exists in laboratories. While this is unlikely to pose a problem in your kitchen when using your phone as a cooking timer, there are potential issues associated with use of smartphones and tablets in laboratory animal facilities. Such devices can be contaminated with bacteria, including pathogenic species which some...  Read More

Top 10 Summer Science Reads

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Heading off on vacation? Pack your beach bag with some of these great summer reads. Pandora's Lab In the world of biomedical research, we celebrate discoveries that improve our life expectancy and quality of life. Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, by Paul A. Offit MD, provides a look at the other side of discovery, at the "uh-ohs" and "oops" and unintended consequences of scientific...  Read More


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