Reviews & Analysis

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  • 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
  • To achieve knockdown rather than knockout of particular genes, a new paper demonstrates a CRISPR/Cas13 method that can efficiently edit mRNA in zebrafish, medaka, killifish, and mouse embryos.

    • Rebecca Leech
    • Karuna Sampath
    News & Views
  • This Review discusses the strengths of the zebrafish model for microbiome research, and highlights important insights gleaned from observational and manipulative microbiome studies in zebrafish.

    • Keaton Stagaman
    • Thomas J. Sharpton
    • Karen Guillemin
    Review Article
  • Caged neurotransmitters are widely used to study neurobiological processes such as synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, uncaging has been primarily restricted to in vitro and ex vivo experimental systems. Using caged neurotransmitters in vivo has posed a huge hurdle because photoactivatable cages bind to GABA-A receptors, acting as competitive antagonists towards GABA. This reduced inhibition leads to epileptiform-like activity, which can cause problems for circuit level studies in vivo. To circumvent this off-target effect, a recent publication introduces a new caged glutamate: G5-MNI-glutamate. Using a novel technique called ‘cloaking,’ GABA-A receptor antagonism is abolished, opening up new possibilities for future in vivo studies with caged neurotransmitters.

    • Roberto Ogelman
    • In-Wook Hwang
    • Won Chan Oh
    News & Views
  • Human cancer is a disease of cooperating genetic events that is complex to model in vivo. A new study combines somatic base editing with a mouse model of breast cancer, demonstrating the potential to rapidly investigate the function of disease-specific point mutations.

    • Kirsteen J. Campbell
    • Karen Blyth
    News & Views