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There are administrative challenges inherent to any animal research program – from hiring vets and care staff to approving and overseeing protocols to reporting to the relevant authorities. Small institutions, with limited resources and available staff compared to ‘research juggernauts,’ can have extra hurdles to cross when administering their animal research programs.
Studying potentially dangerous microbes in animal models of the disease they cause takes some extra considerations, as researchers and staff must perform their work under the careful restrictions of different biosafety level laboratories.
The relationships between individuals and the research animals they work with can enhance animal welfare, but they also involve a moral cost to staff. Securing a safe space to communicate openly about animal welfare & research and acknowledge its emotional impacts is crucial. In this Comment, we reflect on emotional resilience and provide resources available to help manage the emotional burden of working with laboratory animals.
Robyn Raban and Omar Akbari describe a day in the life of the mosquito insectary team at the University of California, San Diego, outlining the procedures, goals, and types of systems they are engineering to control mosquito-transmitted diseases.
There’s growing evidence that sex-based differences can influence phenotypes beyond those directly related to the reproductive system; to fully understand a gene’s function, researchers should consider both male and female subjects.