GEMs MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS


The Power of Laboratory Mice Infographic

Looking for an accessible primer on the state of laboratory mice in biomedical research? Download Taconic Biosciences' new infographic The Power of Laboratory Mice, or request the infographic as a poster. This laboratory mice infographic can be a helpful reference to those just beginning their work with in vivo research models, as well as to researchers with extensive experience in the lab. It presents information on how...

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It's Time for Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi 2 It's easy to get excited about mild weather and the opportunity to relieve cabin fever by enjoying the great outdoors. I was not immune to the urge on February 24, 2017, when we had a record warm temperature of 73°F. I spent the day working in the yard cleaning up the winter debris. After a long day of work, I was...

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Mutation Reduces Immune Response in C57BL/6J Mice

Researchers from the University of Iowa inadvertently identified an Nlrp12 missense mutation which inhibits immune responses in C57BL/6J mice. Further investigation reveals the mutation occurred prior to 1971, potentially impacting decades of research conducted on affected mouse models. Reduced Neutrophil Recruitment in C57BL/6J In this study, the authors compared C57BL/6J and C57BL/6NTac mice and noted that C57BL/6J mice had reduced neutrophil recruitment. Initially hypothesizing the difference was...

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Does Vascular Catheterization in Mice Impact Health?

Vascular catheterization is commonly used to sample blood and administer compounds to mice and rats, but does it have physiological impact? Researchers may assume that catheterization and automated blood sampling has no effect on the test subject, but a new study sheds doubt on that assumption. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Karolinska Institutet published a paper titled "Carotid Catheterization and Automated Blood Sampling Induce...

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Animal Models for Zika Virus Infection

Researchers at the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine published a paper demonstrating that Zika virus could be transmitted sexually. "In addition to transmission by mosquitoes," they report, "ZIKV can be detected in the seminal fluid of affected males for extended periods of time". They evaluated the consequences of infection in several strains of mice, including C57BL/6, congenic Rag1−/−, and congenic Axl−/−. They observed "persistence...

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Variations within Outbred Strains: Know Your Strains and Stocks

The Sprague Dawley® (SD) rat is one of the most popular outbred stocks, with application across many therapeutic areas as well as ADMET studies. The SD is an outbred stock, meaning that there is genetic variation within the stock, and each individual varies in genetic makeup. Genetic variation is maintained through well-defined rotational mating schemes, which are designed to maintain heterozygosity within the population over time. The...

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Animal Model Quality: Transportation and Environmental Factors

What are the most important factors in assessing the quality of an animal model? In Part I, we discussed two of the four quality considerations for using laboratory mice: health and genetics. To recap: It's important to understand the different health standards when assessing an animal model. Commercial providers often make them available online, or they can be requested from the sending facility. With genetics, using polymerase...

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A Successful Breeding Plan in Five Steps

"It's just breeding... right?" You may want to carry out large cohort studies within the next 4-6 months, or to quickly recover a cryopreserved line from your collaborator to cross with your own knockout line. How difficult can it be? The temptation of getting there fast may make you plunge into a new project right away. But early missteps in colony management can surface months into a...

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Quality Considerations in the Use of Animal Models

Which elements of quality should you consider when conducting a study with animal models? Let's start with the definition of quality from Merriam-Webster: Quality [qual-i-ty] noun How good or bad something is. A characteristic or feature that someone or something has, something that can be noticed as a part of a person or thing. A high level of value or excellence. There are four elements which affect...

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Congenic Mice: What's in a Name?

Researchers unfamiliar with mouse genetics can be confused by complex strain nomenclature, leaving them unsure how to select controls for a particular test strain. The nomenclature of congenic mice records a wealth of useful information, including both donor and recipient strains and mutations of interest. One common example of this is confusion around background strain for GEM and mutant lines. While it is common now to make...

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