Volume 51

  • No. 11 November 2022

    Precision genome editing in zebrafish

    DNA base editors are promising tools that can induce point mutations at desired sites in the genome. However, a major limitation in applying such systems is the prerequisite of a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) sequence next to the target site. In a News and Views, Pratishtha Varshney and Gaurav Varshney discuss how SpRY-based DNA base editors, with highly flexible PAM recognition, greatly expand targetable sites in the genome and the possibilities for disease modeling in zebrafish.

    See Varshney & Varshney,

  • No. 10 October 2022

    Rat sperm cryopreservation and IVF

    The recent emergence of tools for altering the rat genome, notably genome-editing technologies, has accelerated the generation of genetically engineered rat models for research. Efficient methods are needed for archiving and distributing these valuable strains.

    In a new protocol, Takeo, Nakao et al. describe all the steps for the preparation of rat cryopreserved sperm, in vitro fertilization (IVF) using cryopreserved sperm and embryo transfer. This optimized protocol, which results in a high IVF rate in different rat strains, provides an efficient path for the preservation of rat resources.

    See Takeo et al.

  • No. 9 September 2022

    FELASA2022: communication is the key

    Last June, FELASA2022 Congress was a successful in-person meeting where scientists, laboratory animal veterinarians, students, technicians and others, met, presented research findings, shared thoughts on best practices for animal research and developed new collaborations. As discussed by Franco and Voikar in a new comment, the motto of the meeting was “Communication”; a central theme of the Congress, but also a key element in support of better science and animal welfare.

    See Franco & Voikar

  • No. 8 August 2022

    Noise levels in a nonhuman primate housing facility

    Environmental noise can cause stress to the animals used in research. Most studies assessing noise levels in animal facilities have been done in rodent facilities, and few studies, if any, have focused on nonhuman primates. In a new article, McLeod and colleagues characterized in detail the living environment of research nonhuman primates by recording sound levels and other variables using a monitoring device placed inside of a cage in a macaque housing room.

    See McLeod et al.

  • No. 7 July 2022

    The genomic landscape of canine diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

    Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoid neoplasm in dogs and in humans. In a new article, Giannuzzi and colleagues performed an integrated analysis of clinical features, exome and RNA sequencing data in a cohort of dogs with DLBCL to better define the genetic landscape of this tumor and identify potential therapeutic targets.

    See Giannuzzi et al.

  • No. 6 June 2022

    A 3Rs approach for the generation of genetically modified rodents

    Generating genetically modified rodents for research projects requires a large number of animals and involves procedures that can cause distress and pain to the animals. In a new Review, Zevnik, Jerchow and Buch provide key recommendations for implementing the 3Rs (Replace, Reduce, Refine) in all steps and procedures for the generation of genetically modified rodents.

    See Zevnik et al.

  • No. 5 May 2022

    New mouse models for male fertility research

    Oxidative stress is major factor that can lead to spermatozoal defects and induce infertility. However, the specific antioxidant mechanisms in male germ cells have not yet been fully elucidated. In a new study this month, Huang, Yang, Pang and colleagues identify LanCL1, a protein abundantly expressed in the testis and brain, as a major antioxidant component, reduction of which is related to male sub/infertility. LanCL1-deficient mice display spermatozoal oxidative damage and subfertility, highlighting the role of LanCL1 in testicular homeostasis.

    See Huang et al.

  • No. 4 April 2022

    Working better together

    In the clinic, an effective teamwork can positively affect patient safety and outcome. Similarly, fostering collaboration in animal research may advance animal welfare and enhance research quality. In a new comment this month, Ober, Ho et al. provide key recommendations to promote collaboration between clinician-scientists and veterinary specialists in translational sciences, based on the group’s own experience when relocating to a new academic institution.

    See Ober et al.

  • No. 3 March 2022

    Exploring Artemia franciscana’s baseline behavior

    Given its sensitivity to toxic agents, the crustacean zooplankton Artemia franciscana is commonly used for toxicity screening assays. Artemia’s behavior is becoming an increasingly popular endpoint in toxicity studies, but behavioral testing conditions still need to be optimized and standardized.

    In a new article, Henry et al. show that variable test conditions such as the design of the test chambers can affect Artemia’s behavior. These findings provide new insights into Artemia’s behavioral baseline responses and support the need for standardized testing conditions.

    See Henry et al

  • No. 2 February 2022

    Pigs got rhythm

    Pigs and humans share a vast range of characteristics, including heart anatomy, cardiac electrophysiological properties and hemodynamics, which make pigs a well suited model to study cardiovascular diseases. In a new protocol, Schüttler, Tomsits, Bleyer et al. provide a practical guide to set up pig models for heart disease research, including cardiac electrophysiology and arrhythmogenesis studies.

    See Schüttler et al.

  • No. 1 January 2022

    To overcome challenges such as the rift that has opened up between basic and clinical research, the scientific community first needs to understand the root of these issues. In a new article, Walker. et al. queried the opinion of US biomedical researchers on issues of reproducibility, rigor and attrition rates in drug development. While most researchers agree that there are problems in each of these areas, responses point to differences in researchers’ perspectives within the animal research community. Notably, researchers provide diverse explanations for the high attrition rates observed in drug development.

    See Article, Walker