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.

The more things change, the more they stay the same: the Amylin liver NASH (AMLN) Diet

photo from The more things change, the more they stay the same: the Amylin liver NASH (AMLN) Diet

A wide variety of high fat diet-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) models have been used to recapitulate certain etiological aspects of the disease, with refinements in dietary formulations made over the past decade. Amylin liver NASH model The Amylin liver NASH (AMLN) model was described by Trevaskis et al. in 2012 as a diet-induced model which displayed both aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) and metabolic syndrome. The authors...  Read More

Importance of Vitamins in Human and Murine Diets

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Vitamins are organic molecules that are essential for proper metabolism and bodily function. While they go by different names, most vitamins are actually groups of chemically-related organic molecules known as vitamers1. Some vitamins must be obtained from dietary sources as they are produced in insufficient quantities or are not synthesized by the body at all. Humans have thirteen essential vitamins that must be obtained from dietary sources:...  Read More

Webinar Q&A — The Diet Induced NASH B6: A Translational NASH Model for Drug Discovery

photo from Webinar Q&A — The Diet Induced NASH B6: A Translational NASH Model for Drug Discovery

Dr. Janell Richardson recently presented a webinar on the Diet Induced NASH B6, a translational model of NASH for drug discovery. She provided an excellent introduction to the global health problem of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), gave an overview of different types of preclinical NASH models and focused in on the Diet Induced NASH B6 as a relevant model of NASH in the context of a metabolic disease...  Read More

The Benefits of Environmental Enrichment for Laboratory Mice

photo from The Benefits of Environmental Enrichment for Laboratory Mice

The natural behavior of mice includes burrowing, foraging, exploring, gnawing, and nest building. These behaviors are essential to the well-being of the animal, and if prevented from performing these activities mice may engage in non-productive repetitive behaviors1,2. Prevention from responding to their natural inclinations could result in undue stress for the animal, possibly impacting their health and increasing stress-related hormone levels. Due to their importance in maintaining...  Read More

IBD Severity and Fungi in Microbiome

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Source: Limon et al.1 The microbiome includes not just bacteria, but also fungi, viruses and parasites. While most of the attention has been on bacterial components of the microbiome, new research links a commensal yeast found on human skin to disease severity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Linking Common Fungi with IBD Severity In a new paper published in Cell Host & Microbe, Limon et al. examined...  Read More

Modeling Stem Cell Transplantation Treatments for HIV

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HIV is a rare, incurable virus that attacks the human immune system. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 36.9 million people are living with HIV or AIDS, and close to 1 million deaths per year are caused by the disease. Currently, there is no vaccine or cure. The standard treatment involves daily, lifelong therapy with multiple antiviral drugs that suppress the virus if taken regularly. Because...  Read More

Adipose Tissue and Hormone Regulation

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The incidence of metabolic disease and the number of obese patients in the US is growing at an alarming rate. While the Western diet and lack of exercise may be to blame for some, there are complex biological processes that underlie the progression of obesity in all cases. The Three Kinds of Adipose Tissue Fat, also referred to as adipose tissue, is responsible for the increased storage...  Read More

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

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

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

photo from International NASH Day

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

photo from FDA Issues Safety Alert on Investigational Use of Fecal Microbiota Transplantation

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