Quality INSIGHTS


Sex Bias in Animal Model Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced new policies in 2014 aimed at requiring NIH-funded researchers to address sex balance in preclinical cell and rodent models. Although exclusion of women in clinical research was identified as problematic decades ago, the preclinical research world has not followed suit. The NIH identified this continued reliance of animal studies on a single sex, often male, as inappropriate: "consideration of sex...

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Rodent Sentinels — A Vital Link in Your Research

Rodent health monitoring programs (also referred to as rodent health surveillance or sentinel monitoring programs) are designed to detect subclinical infections of rodents that potentially have detrimental effects to the health of the animals or the integrity of your research. Robust sentinel animal protocols are both ethically and scientifically crucial. Sentinel Animal Protocols A health monitoring program is designed to detect infections that may be present within...

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Round Up: Top 5 Insights from the Summer 2018

Here's our recap of the top Insight posts from the summer you might have missed! 1. Translational Microbiome Infographic Are you beginning your studies in the Microbiome and don't know where to start? Download and print out the Translational Microbiome at a Glance Infographic to give you a quick reference into this valuable area of research — Find out more! 2. New PBMC-Humanized Mice Support Efficient NK-Cell...

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CASIS Announces Request for Proposals to Access Spaceflight Biospecimens

Source: CASIS The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) recently announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for investigators seeking to access biological specimens from its Rodent Research Reference Mission-1, Applications for Spaceflight Biospecimens. The BALB/c mice for the space flight are provided by Taconic Biosciences. Taconic Biosciences has provided mice and rats for spaceflight research since 1985. CASIS intends to send 40 BALB/c mice...

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Smartphones Can Contaminate Laboratory Animal Colonies

As people increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets, it should come as no surprise that this trend also exists in laboratories. While this is unlikely to pose a problem in your kitchen when using your phone as a cooking timer, there are potential issues associated with use of smartphones and tablets in laboratory animal facilities. Such devices can be contaminated with bacteria, including pathogenic species which some...

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Top 10 Summer Science Reads

Heading off on vacation? Pack your beach bag with some of these great summer reads. Pandora's Lab In the world of biomedical research, we celebrate discoveries that improve our life expectancy and quality of life. Pandora's Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, by Paul A. Offit MD, provides a look at the other side of discovery, at the "uh-ohs" and "oops" and unintended consequences of scientific...

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Business Continuity Planning in Life Sciences

"What do you mean you don't have the animals I need available? You've always had them before. Don't you know this will delay lifesaving research and possibly cost me my grant?" Supply chain disruptions for critical business components isn't an uncommonly rare event. In fact, disruptions, disasters, and accidents occur often. Incorporating business continuity planning into your colony management strategy is the only way to keep your...

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SFB and Immune Response in Animal Models

Segmented filamentous bacteria (SFB, provisional classification Candidatus Savagella) are commensal microorganisms endemic to all vertebrate classes, including mice and humans. SFB are notable for their ability to modulate adaptive host immune responses, including induction of regulatory Th17 T cells, Peyer's patch maturation, and gut IgA production1-3. A recent study from the laboratory of Joyce Wu at the University of Arizona has revealed a novel innate immune function...

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Research on Common Ocular Abnormalities in C57BL/6N Mice

In May 2018 researchers at the University of California-Davis and Université de Strasbourg published a paper titled, A Population Study of Common Ocular Abnormalities in C57BL/6N rd8 Mice in the journal, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. C57BL/6N mice, which carry the rd8 mutation, are the most commonly used model for generation of knockout models. This study looked at a large cohort of C57BL/6N mice which were sourced...

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The Replication Crisis in Preclinical Research

With growing alarm at the failure to replicate published, influential studies, the life sciences community is turning their attention to the causes and consequences of the replication crisis. How can we improve in vivo research to secure the reliability of our results? Reproducibility in Life Sciences While some of the most public replication failures came out of the "softer" sciences, such as psychology or economics, the biological...

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