Comment

Filter By:

Article Type
  • Teamwork and organizational culture have been increasingly recognized as essential components to improving healthcare. Given the stakeholders and complexity of work necessary to execute high-quality animal research, creating a strong, high-performing team of clinicians, scientists and veterinarians would improve productivity. Positive collaborative cultures can advance animal and human welfare, enhance research quality and provide mutual learning for all team members.

    • Rebecca A. Ober
    • Jessie W. Ho
    • Hasan B. Alam
    Comment
  • For over a century, researchers have used mice as models and adapted many new methods to create novel mutations in them. In the past 100+ years, we have gone from breeding strains for selected traits to inducing random mutations throughout the genome to creating designer alleles with multiple functions. Each method offers opportunities and challenges for researchers as they try to address specific research questions with mouse models.

    • Susan M. Bello
    • Michelle N. Perry
    • Cynthia L. Smith
    Comment
  • There is a growing interest in being able to better describe a Culture of Care, particularly as institutions are being asked to nurture such a culture and engage proactively on the care and welfare of the animals used for research purposes. Based on responses collected using an anonymized virtual interactive online poll, we provide some suggestions to help promote further awareness of how animal welfare ethical review bodies can champion a Culture of Care.

    • Sally Robinson
    • Angela Kerton
    Comment
  • To improve rigor and reproducibility of animal research, the recently released NIH Advisory Committee report recommends major improvements in investigator statistical training and practice. The IACUC can serve as important gatekeepers of research quality by ensuring that simple statistically based reproducibility criteria are addressed in animal use protocols.

    • Penny Reynolds
    Comment
  • The SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the demand for specific-pathogen-free (SPF) nonhuman primates (NHPs) for development of vaccines and therapeutics, thus straining the supply of these animals for biomedical research studies. Non-SPF animals, which are available in greater numbers and include well-characterized primate species, should be considered in lieu of limited SPF animals for appropriate research studies.

    • Miguel A. Contreras
    • Matthew E. Arnegard
    • Stephanie J. Murphy
    Comment
  • Nonhuman primate (NHP) models, the most predictive preclinical models for human diseases and treatment outcomes, are in high demand and limited supply. There is a need for improved cryopreservation methods and routine storage of gametes and embryos, which are vital to protecting unique genetic models as well as providing resources for enhancing the genetic diversity of NHP colonies.

    • Matthew E. Arnegard
    • Sheri Ann Hild
    Comment
  • The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has significantly increased the demand for nonhuman primates (NHPs), the preclinical model most predictive of disease and treatment outcomes in humans, and for biocontainment laboratory spaces adjacent to facilities housing NHPs. Accompanying this requirement for biocontainment and research laboratory space is the need for skilled personnel to work in these facilities.

    • Sheri Ann Hild
    • Michael C. Chang
    • Franziska B. Grieder
    Comment
  • Alternatives for in vivo assays for drug testing have been proposed to solve open issues, such as costs, ethical, and logistical problems. One option is the chicken embryo. Here, we discuss its use as an experimental model for drug testing as well as limitations that researchers who want to work with the model should consider.

    • Belchiolina Beatriz Fonseca
    • Murilo Vieira da Silva
    • Lígia Nunes de Morais Ribeiro
    Comment
  • The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has significantly increased the demand for rhesus macaques, which might outstrip the supply for COVID-19 research and for other biomedical research studies. Baboons, another well-characterized research primate model, should be considered as a promising alternative for COVID-19 disease studies.

    • Michael C. Chang
    • Sheri Hild
    • Franziska Grieder
    Comment
  • Host genetics, housing conditions, and antibiotic treatments impact microbiota diversity and composition, but microbes that inhabit the mouse gut and skin can also influence severity and penetrance of host mutant phenotypes.

    • Michelle N. Perry
    • Susan M. Bello
    • Cynthia L. Smith
    Comment
  • 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.

    • Christopher S. Keator
    Comment
  • 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.

    • Jordi L. Tremoleda
    • Angela Kerton
    Comment
  • 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.

    • Susan M. Bello
    • Michelle N. Perry
    • Cynthia L. Smith
    Comment
  • Recombinase-expressing mice are selected based on where and when they will activate conditional alleles, but some produce phenotypes in isolation that can complicate analysis of those alleles.

    • Michelle N. Perry
    • Susan M. Bello
    • Cynthia L. Smith
    Comment