Reviews & Analysis

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  • Fernandez, Martinez-Romero et al. review concepts, methods, tools and challenges to leverage Big Data in preclinical aging research, with a focus on rodent studies.

    • Maria Emilia Fernandez
    • Jorge Martinez-Romero
    • Rafael de Cabo
    Review Article
  • Unlocking the secrets of the brain requires high precision tools to record neuronal activity. Neuroscientists have tools to capture neuronal activity with unprecedented speed, precision and fidelity. Thanks to a ground-breaking redesign of the linker peptide of GCaMP proteins, a domain seldomly considered for optimization, a new sensor bridges the gap between calcium imaging and electrophysiology.

    • Ana Marta Capaz
    • Nicolas Renier
    News & Views
  • A recent study performed directed C5-cytosine methylation of CpG islands to demonstrate that acquired methylation at critical loci could be reestablished for multiple generations in mice. This work provides a manipulatable system to examine how non-genetic information is transmitted across generations to regulate complex phenotypes.

    • Gautam Sarkar
    • Eric Lieberman Greer
    News & Views
  • New research using high-dimensional behavioural analyses has further undermined the “females are the more variable sex” trope that often accompanies all-male studies. But when we consider the benefits to the inclusion of females in research, their lesser variability is only the icing on the cake. It’s just good science, really.

    • Bronwyn M. Graham
    News & ViewsOpen Access
  • Despite centuries of effort from philosophers, physicians and biologists, the answer to the seemingly simple question “what is aging?” remains elusive. Some even posit that aging represents a phenomenon too expansive to ever be succinctly defined. A new study tackles this question by profiling hundreds of phenotypes across age in mice and examining how the trajectories of these phenotypes are altered by geroprotective genetic and dietary interventions.

    • Michael R. MacArthur
    • Sarah J. Mitchell
    News & Views
  • The application of genome-editing tools to generate point mutations in animal models is of particular value for precise disease modeling, but the PAM requirement of Cas enzymes is a critical limiting factor. Two new studies demonstrate that SpRY variant displays efficient genome editing in a nearly PAM-less manner in zebrafish, expanding the targeting scope of base editors in this model.

    • Pratishtha Varshney
    • Gaurav K. Varshney
    News & Views
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the FKBP5 gene influence the risk of developing stress-related disorders, but the underlying processes are not fully understood. Animal models offer a possibility to investigate the influence of FKBP5 gene variants on the stress response system.

    • Marie-Pierre Moisan
    News & Views
  • In this Review, the authors provide recommendations for the implementation of the 3Rs in all the steps and procedures in the generation of genetically modified rodents; they also discuss future welfare challenges associated with advances in genome modification techniques.

    • Branko Zevnik
    • Boris Jerchow
    • Thorsten Buch
    Review Article
  • New insights into gut-brain axis and cognition function show that accumulation of Caudovirales bacteriophages in the gut microbiota is associated with improved executive function and memory.

    • Mercedes Gomez de Agüero
    • Aryan Rahimi-Midani
    News & Views
  • In this Review, the authors identify and compare available pig models in pain research. They also describe the different pain assessment methods used in pigs and compare them with the pain assessment methods used in humans to identify overlaps and possible improvements.

    • Suzan Meijs
    • Martin Schmelz
    • Winnie Jensen
    Review Article
  • Social isolation can lead to poor mental and physical health. A new study determines that social isolation increases food and nicotine-seeking during abstinence, but that social housing can reverse these effects.

    • Rebecca S. Hofford
    News & Views
  • A new CRISPR/Cas9 method that can generate F0 mutant zebrafish has the potential to cut costs, spare time, and reduce animal use for researchers interested in screening loss-of-function alleles in vivo.

    • Wouter Masselink
    News & Views
  • In this perspective, the authors discuss the use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study host–microbe interactions, highlighting innovative methodologies and key findings from recent studies.

    • Cassandra Backes
    • Daniel Martinez-Martinez
    • Filipe Cabreiro