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.

Visitors are encouraged to comment and ask questions via the form at the bottom of each Insight.

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

DHA's Role in NASH Pathogenesis

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Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is associated with a chronic proinflammatory state of the liver1-3,10. The clinical pathogenesis of NASH progresses from a steatotic/intralobular inflammatory/hepatocellular ballooning state to progressing levels of fibrosis and in later stages, an increased incidence of cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma8-13. The etiology underlying this progression remains unknown, nor are there currently any approved therapies other than lifestyle modifications aimed at modulating or mitigating NASH11,12. Identifying...  Read More

Why SNP test your mice?

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Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are variations in the genome that occur when a single nucleotide is altered. While single base-pair changes may seem minor, they are key indicators of strain differences among mice and rats1. SNP testing is vital in many colony management applications, from background verification and genetic screening to creating a mouse model on a different background through the speed congenic process. How SNP Testing...  Read More

Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention

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With most of the United States experiencing warmer weather, increased sun exposure can lead to an increased risk of developing skin cancer. There are more new cases of skin cancer in the US each year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers combined. The most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma, which if left untreated can metastasize to other locations within the body1. Detecting Skin Cancer...  Read More

Apolipoproteins in Animal Models of Cardiovascular Disease

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a term that encompasses multiple heart and blood-vessel-related maladies. The CDC reports that it is the leading cause of death amongst both men and women in the US each year, with roughly 800,000 deaths estimated by the American Heart Association in 2018. Review of lipoproteins Lipoproteins are lipid-protein complexes that contain a hydrophilic outer shell and an inner hydrophobic core. Both low-density lipoproteins...  Read More

Video: Genetic Background in Syngeneic Models

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Through this excerpt from Taconic Biosciences' Webinar, "Advanced Toolkit For Syngeneic Tumor Modeling in Mice," Dr. Philip Dubé considers the role of genetic background when identifying the proper syngeneic model as well as the importance of validating substrain and specific cell line. Syngeneic models depend on the implanted tumor cell not being rejected by the immune system; it is crucial that cell lines are genetically matched to...  Read More

What is NASH?

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Recent reports indicate that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are emerging public health threats. NAFLD is a common chronic liver disease, with estimates of incidence around 25% worldwide. NASH represents the more severe end of the NAFLD spectrum, with inflammation and fibrosis which can progress to cirrhosis and even liver cancer. According to Younossi et al., "NAFLD is one of the most important...  Read More

World Microbiome Day 2019

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World Microbiome Day is on June 27th this year. World Microbiome Day began in 2018 to demonstrate its emergence as a subject with global impact. That impact is being felt across a variety of disciplines including science, medicine, and nutrition. "World Microbiome Day aims to showcase the vibrant and diverse worlds of microbiomes, and to encourage public dialogue on their critical importance to human, animal and environmental...  Read More

Metastatic Prostate Cancer Modeling with Humanized Mice

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Prostate cancer will likely remain among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in men until improved therapies for advanced metastatic disease become available. According to Dr. Steve Kregel, a postdoctoral researcher working with Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan at the University of Michigan, a key barrier to improving prostate cancer therapies is the woefully inadequate models of metastatic disease used in preclinical drug testing. At the 2019 American Association...  Read More

Methods of Animal Model Identification

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Animal identification is a vital element in any research project requiring the use of animal models. The identification of an animal may be the only link to essential data, such as sex, genotype, study parameters, and results. Animal identification systems also assist with breeding record keeping. In some cases, the success of your studies may depend on the type of animal identification method you choose. Accuracy of...  Read More