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.

Does the Microbiome Impact Neurological Diseases like Stroke and Seizure?

Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a type of brain lesion in which normal tissue is displaced by collections of abnormal capillaries which are prone to leakage. CCM bleeding can cause strokes, seizures, and other neurologic deficits. The only current treatment for CCM is surgical removal. What causes this anatomical abnormality? The familial form has been linked to mutations in several genes, and sporadic cases may be linked...

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Yeast Worsens Disease in a Mouse Model of Colitis

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In general, the majority of studies looking at the role of the human gut microbiome have focused on bacterial members. However, fungi are estimated to comprise 0.1% of the intestinal microbiota1, and elevated levels of anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCAs) have been detected in the serum of Crohn's disease patients,...

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Working Towards Microbiome Research Standards

Microbiome research continues at an amazing pace, but labs around the world are racing ahead with few agreed-upon standards. This makes communication difficult and may undermine reproducibility. Growing Call for Microbiome Standards There are groups advocating for common standards, such as The Microbiome Coalition, and the subject frequently comes up at scientific conferences. In 2015, Julian R. Marchesi and Jacques Ravel published a paper suggesting a standard...

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Genetic Variation in C57BL/6 ES Cells and Knockout Mice

Genetically engineered animal models (GEMs) are powerful tools for biomedical research and drug discovery, but genetic variation in animal models derived from distinct ES cell lines and subsequent breeding can impact both the interpretation and reproducibility of studies which employ them1. While recent advances in gene editing accelerated the migration of models to a pure C57BL/6 background, researchers should remain aware of potentially confounding results from genetic...

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Accelerating Parkinson's Disease Research Through Strategic Partnerships

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), established in 2000, is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD) by supporting research agendas toward development of improved therapies for Parkinson's disease patients. Unlike many private research funding institutions that rely on external scientific advisors and boards for how to allocate donor-raised research dollars, the MJFF has an in-house team of trained scientists and project managers that oversee...

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The Real Impact of Rodent Diet on Microbiome and Gut Health Research Webinar Q&A

Dr. Michael Pellizzon of Research Diets, Inc., recently presented a webinar on the underappreciated impact of rodent diets on microbiome and gut health research, where simple husbandry decisions can profoundly affect both animal model phenotypes and experimental outcomes. Due to time constraints, many of the questions submitted during the webinar went unanswered. We present a full Q&A here. Impact of Purified Diets Dr. Michael Pellizzon (MP): Yes....

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Review of 3rd Annual Translational Microbiome Conference

This year was the 3rd year of the Translational Microbiome Conference held in Boston, Massachusetts. Boston is a major hub of microbiome research in academia, biotech, and pharma industries. This conference draws attendees from around the world who all want to better understand how the microbiome can be harnessed to improve human health. New this year were workshops held the day before the general sessions began. One...

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Cystic Fibrosis Treatment from Vertex May Restore Lung Function

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, digestive system, and a host of metabolic functions. In humans, CF is a progressive disease, where chronic dysfunction of muco-ciliary clearance leads to severe congestion, thick mucus build-up, and severe persistent lung infections. In 1960 the median life expectancy for a patient with CF was ten years old. However, with significant advances in research and clinical...

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Selecting Donors for Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

While fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is viewed as a relatively inexpensive and safe method for treating recurring Clostridium difficile infection and other maladies in humans, FMT is not without its challenges, particularly with regard to the screening and selection of fecal donors. In a recent Gut Microbes publication, Woodworth et al. discussed current challenges pertaining to FMT for human use1. The authors evaluate current recommendations for selection...

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A First-Person Account of the Microbiome Revolution

Segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB) in the terminal ileum of an 8-week-old Taconic B6 mouse In a new commentary article in Cell Host & Microbe, Ivaylo Ivanov provides a first-person account of the discovery that microbiota composition affects immune system development and response. Ten years after the first studies showing that development of Th17 cells were regulated by the microbiome, Ivanov details how those discoveries were made. As...

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