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.

Animal Models in Space Research

On Wednesday, December 5th, the Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket launched to the International Space Station (ISS) carrying 5,600 lbs of supplies; a small portion of which were mice of varying ages2. Animal models have been used in space research since the 1940s, and these ongoing projects help us understand how spaceflight affects health in greater depth. This review will highlight the various animal models that have been...

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A Simple Guide to CRISPR

In the short time since the introduction of CRISPR technology in 1987, it has proved to be a valuable tool. In 2018, there were over 17,000 publications on CRISPR gene editing technology compared to seven years earlier when there were less than 100 publications. The future is bright in how CRISPR will impact research, treatments, and cures. VOX recently published, A simple guide to CRISPR, one of...

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Effective Communication Improves Quality

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...

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Pros and Cons of Statins

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...

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How Are Animal Models Validated?

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....

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'Twas the End of the Year

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...

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A Deep Dive into AI-based Animal Body Part Detection

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...

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Modelling Autophagy in Cellular Processes

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...

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Bacteria Making Headlines in 2018

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...

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Nobel Awarded to Immuno-Oncology Pioneers

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...

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