Dietary Considerations in Animal Research

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There are many factors that require consideration when designing any preclinical study, such as rodent model selection, housing conditions, treatment dosing schemes, and diet1. Exact specifications decided upon may, in some cases, be driven by availability or standard practices in the selected vivarium. In the case of lab animal diets, for example, it is typical of a vivarium to stock a particular diet and charge researchers for...  Read More

The Issue of Sex vs. Gender in Preclinical Animal Model Studies

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In science, it is of the utmost importance to be precise and accurate with language. It is not uncommon for scientists to operationalize, or define, a term that may vary in meaning across different contexts or research groups. However, when scientists use words incorrectly or interchangeably, this can be confusing and detrimental, particularly if those words actually represent discrete experimental variables. In fact, what if one of...  Read More

Maintaining Quality Standards When Working with Research Models

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Factors affecting the quality and performance of research models include health, genetics, environment, and transportation. There are, of course, other factors, but these four can have the most significant impact on study outcomes and need to be considered when planning studies with animal models. Health Standards In general, health standards are defined by the level of known pathogenic organisms present in a research model. All commercial lab...  Read More

An update on mouse kidney parvovirus

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It's been over 18 months since mouse kidney parvovirus (MKPV) was identified as a novel pathogen causing inclusion body nephropathy and eventually renal failure and even death in immunodeficient mice. Roediger et al. described this finding in an Oct 2018 Cell paper: "An Atypical Parvovirus Drives Chronic Tubulointerstitial Nephropathy and Kidney Fibrosis"1. What has happened in time since this report? AALAS discussions: testing challenges and exclusion decisions...  Read More

Joyeux Noël and Revolutions in Medicine

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To our Insights readers, Please accept our sincere gratitude for making Insights so widely read. It has been a delight providing these informative articles over the past few years. Please indulge us as we take a break from our standard format for this year-ending Insight. — The Taconic Biosciences' Insight Team What will you do as we near the end of the year? It's the time when...  Read More

SIOP and Russell & Burch's 3Rs

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W.M.S. Russell (1925-2006) and R.L. Burch (1926-1996) originated the concepts of replacement, reduction, and refinement, which they published in their 1959 book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique (Principles)1. The Principles was presented not as the final word of this science, but as a foundation for future developments. The 3Rs, as Russell and Burch first called them, were put forward not just to assist investigators in finding...  Read More

Mouse Kidney Parvovirus (MKPV) - A New Mouse Pathogen

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A consortium of researchers from Australia and the US has announced the discovery of a novel mouse parvovirus, named mouse kidney parvovirus or MKPV. They report this highly infectious pathogen causes inclusion body nephropathy (a type of kidney disease) and eventually renal failure in immunodeficient mice1. Impact on Immunodeficient Animals Mice infected with MKPV display kidney anatomical and functional abnormalities including tubular degeneration, necrosis and fibrosis as...  Read More

How Animal Model Handling Affects Your Research

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Researchers who regularly work with mice and rats understand that incorrect handling practices creates unnecessary stress for the animal. If one is new to working with preclinical animal models, or is introducing a new strain to their work, a quick refresher on the benefits of correct handling procedures could be very useful. Improper Animal Handling Causes Stress Certain stressors that affect mice and rats cannot be avoided....  Read More

Animal Models in Drug Discovery

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The use of animal models in research resulted in the advancement of knowledge for how diseases affect animals and humans. It has also led to the effective treatment of disease symptoms or in many cases disease cures. There are a wide variety of animal models used in drug discovery including, but not limited to Drosophila, C. elegans, mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, cats and non-human primates. Over the...  Read More

The Drug Discovery Process

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Introducing a new drug to market is a complex and time-consuming process that can cost pharmaceutical companies an average $2.6 billion and ten years of research and development. There are multiple defined stages for this process, each with their own associated challenges, timelines, and costs. This review will discuss the entire process, from target discovery through clinical trials and post-approval monitoring for the development of a new...  Read More


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