The TT2016 meeting will be held in Prague

August 12th, 2014
The TT2016 meeting will be held in Prague

The TT2016 meeting will be held in Prague

From the International Society of Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), it is our pleasure to announce that the next, 13th, Transgenic Technology (TT) meeting, TT2016, will be held in Prague (Czech Republic), in March 2016, organized by Dr. Radislav Sedlacek (Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular Genetics; Head of Laboratory of Transgenic Models of Diseases; Project Director, Czech Centre for Phenogenomics; ISTT Member).

The ISTT was delighted to accept a very appealing and well-structured meeting proposal from Prague, a historical city lying in the heart of Europe. Prague is a beautiful city with magical atmosphere. It offers historical as well as modern hotels, restaurants, infrastructure and places of sightseeing. TT2016 conference delegates arriving in Prague will enjoy a high standard of hospitality at very reasonable prices.

The TT2016 meeting web site (  and the official TT2016 meeting address ( are already operative. Dr. Radislav Sedlacek will present the TT2016 meeting in Edinburgh, at the TT2014 meeting, introducing his team of collaborators, the organizing and advisory committees, their view, plans and expectations for this transgenic technology meeting, where again, and with the support of the ISTT, the Organizers will prepare a very attractive scientific program with all the newest techniques, applications and approaches developed in the field of animal transgenesis.

The TT2016 meeting will he held in Prague in March 2016. The exact dates and location of the conference venue will be communicated shortly.

Mouse Genetics. Methods and Protocols (2014)

August 9th, 2014
Mouse Genetics. Methods and Protocols (2014)

Mouse Genetics. Methods and Protocols (2014)

This is yet another interesting book in our field that has been published this year, 2014. This manual, entitled “Mouse Genetics. Methods and Protocols“, edited by Shree Ram Singh and Vinzenzo Coppola, in association with the Publisher, Humana Press/Springer, contains a collection of useful protocols covering most of the methods that can be currently applied for the genetic modification of the mouse genome. According to its presentation at the Springer web page, this book “provides selected mouse genetic techniques and their application in modeling varieties of human diseases. The chapters are mainly focused on the generation of different transgenic mice to accomplish the manipulation of genes of interest, tracing cell lineages, and modeling human diseases. (…) Each chapter contains a brief introduction, a list of necessary materials, systematic, readily reproducible methods, and a notes section, which shares tips on troubleshooting in order to avoid known pitfalls.

The table of contents of this book illustrates the variety of highly sophysticated methods, beyond standard techniques, that are discussed here in detail, around mouse genetics, including: pronuclear injection-based targeted transgenesis through Cre-loxP specific recombination, the use of recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) strategies, several approaches for preparing and analyzing conditional mutant alleles using tamoxifen-dependent Cre recombinases, the use of ICSI for the generation of transgenic mice, the use of BACs, mosaic analysis with double markers (MADM) in mice, transposon-mediated transgenesis, overexpression of microRNAs using Rosa26-mediated recombination, the isolation of various somatic and pluripotent cells, the generation of transgenic mice through spermatogonial stem cells in vivo, and, several illustrative examples of how different mouse engineered animal models are best suited to study a variety of human diseases. Hence, this book is also complementary to other recently published manuals, since it contains a careful detailed description of new methods that are not been covered in other similar titles in the field.

The editors of this book, Shree Ram Singh and Vinzenzo Coppola, have counted with the generous expertise shared and provided by a very large list of co-authors, including some ISTT members: Masato Ohtsuka, Kazuhito Sakamoto, Channabasavaiah B. Gurumurthy, Kay-Uwe Wagner, Petra Kraus, V. Sivakamasundari, Xing Xing, Thomas Lufkin, Anton J.M. Roebroek, Bart Van Gool, Kun-Hsiung Lee, Susanne Feil, Jana Krauss, Martin Thunemann, Robert Feil, Pedro N. Moreira, Lluis Montoliu, Jane Beil, Thorsten Buch, Sheng Ding, Tian Xu, Xiaohui Wu, Hui Zong, Claudia Piovan, Foued Amari, Francesca Lovat, Qun Chen, Olga Simmons, Esther M. Bolanis, Jian Wang, Simon J. Conway, Kanika Jain, Paul J. Verma, Jun Liu, Pollyanna Agnes Goh, Michael D. Williams, Wilson Wong, Amanda Rixon, Sarang N. Satoor, Anandwardhan A. Hardikar, Mugdha V. Joglekar, Andrei M. Vacaru, Joseph Vitale, Johnathan Nieves, Margaret H. Baron, Kristbjorn Orri Gudmundsson, Kevin Oakley, Yufen Han, Yang Du, Lalit Sehgal, Abul Usmani, Sorab N. Dalal, Subeer S. Majumdar, Spencer W. Luebben, Naoko Shima, Tsuyoshi Kawabata, Robert M. Hoffman, Viive M. Howell, Emily K. Colvin, Vishalakshi Chavali, Shyam Sundar Nandi, Paras Kumar Mishra, Julia Lorenz, Susanne Grässel, Ganesan Ramesh, Punithavathi Ranganathan, Santhakumar Manicassamy, Indumathi Manoharan, Deepak P. Patil, Holly D. Kristensen and Yogesh Shouche.

This new book will be added to the collection of Springer books published on animal transgenesis and animal genetics for which ISTT members are entitled to a 33% discount, as one of the many benefits associated with the ISTT membership.



Transgenic Animal Technology. A Laboratory Handbook (3rd edition, 2014)

July 27th, 2014
Transgenic Animal Technology. A Laboratory Handbook (3rd edition, 2014)

Transgenic Animal Technology. A Laboratory Handbook (3rd edition, 2014)

Twenty years after the publication of the first edition and twelve years after the release of the second edition of this book, Carl A. Pinkert (Auburn University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn, AL, USA) in association with Elsevier, releases now the third edition of his famous transgenic manual: “Transgenic Animal Technology. A Laboratory Handbook. 3rd edition, 2014“. As it will be familiar to readers of the two previous editions of this useful and unique handbook, this is not only a manual to understand how to make a transgenic mouse. This handbook looks beyond mice and it contains protocols to prepare a wide variety of genetically-modified animals, including: rats, rabbits, poultry, fish, pigs, ruminants and non-human primates. In addition, this compilation of helpful methods includes a number of chapters devoted to understand and improve all steps of transgenesis, from vector design, analysis of transgene integration and the evaluation of transgene expression. Finally, the book also includes cryopreservation methods, an embryo culture section, a review of standard nomenclature and a selection of databases and internet resources currently available in the field.

This handbook is a worth addition to any library, laboratory or transgenic facility, complementary to other available manuals on the subject, but unique in the sense that it exquisitely illustrates current transgenic methods that can be applied to a wide variety of animal species, beyond mice.

Carl A. Pinkert has been helped in his outstanding Editorial task by a large group of co-authors, experts in their subjects, including some ISTT members: Satoshi Akagi, Anna V. Anagnostopoulos, Benjamin P. Beaton, Cory F. Brayton, Steve Brown, Anthony W.S. Chan, Tom Doetschman, Rex A. Dunham, David A. Dunn, Janan T. Eppig, Almudena Fernandez, Tatiana Flisikowska, Vasiliy Galat, Robert A. Godke, Philip Iannaccone, Michael H. Irwin, Larry W. Johnson, Yoko Kato, Teoan Kim, Alexander Kind, Bon Chul Koo, Mo Sun Kwon, Daniel J. Ledbetter, Michael J. Martin, Kazutsugu Matsukawa, Colin McKerlie, Lluis Montoliu, Paul E. Mozdziak, Akira Onishi, Paul A. Overbeek, James N. Petitte, L. Philip Sanford, Jorge A. Piedrahita, Wendy K. Pogozelski, H. Greg Polites, Edmund B. Rucker III, Marina Sansinena, Angelika Schnieke, Kumiko Takeda, James A. Thomson, Ian A. Trounce, Yukio Tsunoda, Cristina Vicente-Garcia, Kevin D. Wells, Richard N. Winn and Curtis R. Youngs.

Manipulating the Mouse Embryo. A Laboratory Manual (4th edition, 2014)

July 22nd, 2014
Manipulating the Mouse Embryo. A Laboratory Manual (4th edition, 2014)

Manipulating the Mouse Embryo. A Laboratory Manual (4th edition, 2014)

A bit more than 10 years later, from the last edition (3rd, 2003) published, the classical manual, the “Bible” in our field has been renewed, updated, upgraded and recently published in its fourth edition. The new “Manipulating the Mouse Embryo. A Laboratory Manual. 4th edition, 2014” has just been released, published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and edited by Richard Behringer, Marina Gertsenstein, Kristina Vintersten Nagy and Andras Nagy. The editors, the same team that produced the 3rd edition of this useful manual, should be praised once again for a brilliant work done, accommodating the latest techniques in mouse embryo manipulation, while not forgetting the traditional procedures that must be learnt properly by anyone joining this field of animal transgenesis for the first time.  The editors counted with the help of many additional collaborators, who provided materials and protocols, including many ISTT members, as Marina and Andras are, such as:  Wojtek Auerbach, Ralph Brinster, Jorge Cabezas, Tracy Caroll, Lluis Montoliu, Naomi Nakagata, Jan Parker-Thornburg, Shirley Pease and Thomas Saunders, just to name a few of the many colleagues that shared their expertise and contributed to this 4th edition of the CSHLP manual.

This fourth edition is dedicated to Anne McLaren (1927-2007), one of the brave and gifted pioneer in mouse genetics and embriology, and whom do we all owe a number of standard procedures that we routinely apply in a transgenic laboratory, such as mouse embryo culturing, pseudopregnancy and embryo transfer.

The structure of this 4th edition manual follows that of the 3rd edition, in the sense that chapters and methods are grouped logically and functionally, from a very good summary on mouse genetics and mouse embryo development, to mouse colony management, and followed by a variety of main sections dealing with in vitro and in vivo work, surgical procedures, the production of transgenic mice by pronuclear microinjection, derivation of ES cell lines, using ES cells to generate germline-transmitting chimeras, genotyping protocols, parthenogenesis and nuclear transfer, assisted reproduction techniques, cryopreservation methods, techniques for visualizing gene products and finishing by a chapter devoted to setting up a micromanipulation laboratory and the usual and convenient appendix with receipts for the common buffers and solutions.

Besides this excellent updated version of the CSHLP Mouse Manual, there are several books published on this subject, including the ISTT manual (Springer, 2011) edited by Shirley Pease and Thomas Saunders, and all are worth reading and having them around for consultation, since each one brings their own contribution, their view and their solutions for the adequate learning of how to best manipulate animal embryos, and not all methods and protocols are covered in a single book, hence they are largely complementary. I will be soon reporting in this ISTT blog about additional books recently published in this field.


Results of 2014 ISTT elections: new board members elected

July 1st, 2014
Results from 2014 ISTT elections: new board members elected

Results from 2014 ISTT elections: new board members elected

On behalf of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), it is my pleasure to announce the results of the 2014 ISTT Elections. Jan Parker-Thornburg has been elected ISTT President. Aimee Stablewski has been elected ISTT Secretary and Treasurer. Cheryl Bock and Martina Crispo have been elected new ISTT Board members. Elizabeth Williams has been re-elected ISTT Board member for a second and last turn. Congratulations to all of them!. And our deepest appreciation to all candidates generously participating in this 2014 ISTT Election process. The new elect Officers and Board members will be validated by the ISTT General Assembly at the 12th Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2014), in Edinburgh, in October, and they will enter into service on January 1st, 2015, for a period of three consecutive TT meetings, TT2014-TT2017, as stated in the updated ISTT bylaws registered in the US. Best wishes and good luck to all.

CRISPR-Cas resources at the ISTT web site

June 24th, 2014
CRISPR-Cas resources at the ISTT web site. Illustration from: CRISPR-Cas technology and applications (video by Le Cong from Feng Zhang's lab at MIT/BROAD institute. This video has been made possible thanks to Addgene)

CRISPR-Cas resources at the ISTT web site. Illustration from: CRISPR-Cas technology and applications (video by Le Cong from Feng Zhang’s lab at MIT/BROAD institute. This video has been made possible thanks to Addgene)

CRISPR-Cas strategies are discussed and applied everywhere for the targeted modification of genomes. Every day a new lab is considering using CRISPR-Cas for the generation of their subsequent animal mutants. There are many papers regularly being published on this subject and a number of excellent online resources have been prepared by several labs actively working in this field. For newcomers/beginners this might seem (and it is) a lot of information, potentially difficult to digest.

In this regard, from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), we have prepared a simple web page containing a selection of CRISPR-Cas resources and related information, for anyone willing to start using these technologies. Please, feel free to suggest any additional CRISPR-Cas resources you might be aware/using/have developed, which might be worth including in these web pages. Thanks.

In particular, we wish to thank Feng Zhang (MIT/BROAD) and his lab for their efforts, videos (such as this video from Le Cong, PhD, illustrating this post, this video has been made possible thanks to Addgene, and is part of this series), online desing tools, protocols, etc… disseminating these technologies. Feng Zhang will receive the third ISTT Young Investigator Award and will attend the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.

TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

June 17th, 2014
TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

TT2014 abstracts: submission deadline is approaching (30 June)

From the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) we warmly invite and encourage you all to submit your most recent and exciting results and developments in animal transgenesis to be presented at the forthcoming 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, which will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014. Deadline for submitting abstracts for the TT2014 meeting is June 30.
To submit an abstract please visit this TT2014 meeting web page.

All TT2014 participants are encouraged to submit their work as an abstract for poster presentation at the TT2014 meeting. Authors are requested to submit an abstract with the following requirements:

  • Title (max. 25 words)
  • Name authors and affiliations (first author is the presenting author).
  • Text of the communication (max. 400 words).
  • Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 30, 2014.

Accepted abstracts will be published in the scientific journal Transgenic Research (Springer), to which the ISTT is associated.

Posters will be on display in the exhibition area throughout the duration of the meeting. Poster boards are 1.00m wide x 2.00m high and we recommend posters do not exceed 1.50m in length. A supply of Velcro tabs will be available at the venue. No screws or double-sided adhesive tape will be allowed due to the damage they can cause to the boards.

Best Poster Awards
All posters presented at the TT2014 meeting will be eligible for one of the ISTT Best Poster Awards, generously sponsored by Charles River, Inc.

Oral Presentations
A limited number of abstract submissions will be selected and invited to present their findings in the form of a short oral presentation within the main meeting program. Should you be interested in being considered to speak at the meeting please select the appropriate option when submitting your abstract.

Abstracts are invited on all aspects of Transgenic Technologies, including the conference themes as listed below:

  • New technologies in animal transgenesis
  • Embryo stem cells
  • Target nucleases or Editing nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs)
  • Large-scale phenotyping
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Imaging with transgenic animals
  • Mouse models of human disease
  • Zebrafish models of human disease and transgenesis
  • Animal ethics and welfare

We are looking forward to receiving your exciting works to discuss the latest development on animal transgenesis!. See you all in Edinburgh!

The TT2014 Registration Awards for ISTT members: deadline for submitting applications is 30th June

June 16th, 2014
The TT2014 Registration Awards for ISTT members: deadline for submitting applications is 30th June

The TT2014 Registration Awards for ISTT members: deadline for submitting applications is 30th June

A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members willing to attend the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, will be sponsored by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT). Applications should be sent, along with the registration confirmation and the requested additional documents to by June 30, 2014. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for one of these TT2014 registration awards. Please note that applicants not selected for an award are required to pay the corresponding registration fee. Please note the Award covers registration fees and attendance to all social events, however, does not cover travel, accommodation expenses or attendance at pre meeting events. Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014 and awardees will receive a diploma at the TT2014 Meeting.

Applications for registration awards by ISTT members should be sent to the official ISTT email address (, by June 30, 2014,  and should include the following documentation:

  • Applicant’s CV
  • Letter describing how the applicant will benefit from attendance at the TT meeting
  • Only for technician/students: Letter of support from the applicant’s head/supervisor stating the support to the applicant’s participation in the TT meeting and highlighting why attendance will benefit the applicant’s career

Applicants must register first at the TT2014 website and select, as a payment method, “application for registration awards”. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for an award. However, if they are not selected they would be kindly requested to pay the corresponding registration fee

Selection Process
The ISTT Council will examine all applications received. Registration Awards will be selected according to the documents submitted and with preference given to:

  1. Student/Technician ISTT Members
  2. ISTT Members submitting an abstract for presentation as a poster/short-oral communication at the TT meeting
  3. Any other ISTT Member

Award decisions will be communicated by July 15, 2014. Awardees will have their TT registration fees entirely waived. Awardees will receive a diploma at the Awards ceremony at the end of the TT2014 meeting. Applicants that are not yet members of the ISTT may choose to register/join first the ISTT and simultaneously submit their travel/registration award application. ISTT Registration/Travel awards for each TT meeting will only be provided to ISTT members who have paid their current annual fees.

The TT2014-associated Zebrafish Transgenesis Workshop: 8-10 October 2014 in Edinburgh

June 10th, 2014
The TT2014-associated Zebrafish Transgenesis Workshop: 8-10 October 2014 in Edinburgh

The TT2014-associated Zebrafish Transgenesis Workshop: 8-10 October 2014 in Edinburgh

Immediately after the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, a unique hands-on zebrafish transgenesis workshop will be taking place in Edinburgh, on October 8-10, 2014. This will be the first non-rodent hands-on transgenic workshop ever organized after a TT meeting. This workshop is offered to willing participants registered to attend the TT2014 meeting (October 6-8, 2014). Registration is handled separately and, at first, intended participants should submit their expression of interest to Organizers. Please note that attendance at this meeting is limited to 20 participants only. Due also to high demand for places, there is a selection process in place for all applicants wishing to attend the workshop. Applications should be sent, along with proof of registration to the following email address: by June 30, 2014. Decisions on the successful applicants will be communicated by July 15, 2014.

The zebrafish is fast becoming a very significant vertebrate animal model system in scientific research; highlighted by the exponential increase in zebrafish-related publications. The role of zebrafish in science is only going to increase in the future; techniques are being constantly developed and more and more people recognise its advantages and benefits to research.

This small freshwater, tropical fish has some clear and unique advantages as a model system; these include its optical transparency, with ex-utero synchronous and rapid development, which allows direct, and continuous in-vivo observation. Genetic and pharmacological manipulation is relatively straight forward and the zebrafish is able to regenerate all organs and tissues. The fish can be maintained under very economic conditions and can be obtained in significant numbers, allowing statistically high N values. Another major advantage is that the developing zebrafish can survive for several days without a cardiovascular system, allowing examination of embryonic-lethal genotypes and phenotypes, from the single-cell stage. Whilst the zebrafish may lack certain (and some obvious) mammalian organs, and despite being physically very different, there are very important genetic and cellular similarities, with development being directly comparable to humans.

The workshop ‘An Introduction to Zebrafish Transgenesis’ follows TT2014 and is the first practical workshop in a non-rodent model species. The practical sessions will start with gene expression interference using classical morpholino microinjection on Day 1, which is complemented on Day 2 with microinjection of a simple fluorescent transgene construct. The scheduled embryology sessions are separated by a wide-ranging series of talks from leading experts in aquatic transgenics. Both the tutorials and practical instruction will provide all the information needed to perform husbandry and gene manipulation in the early zebrafish embryo. Topics include: husbandry best practise, microinjection principles, transgenesis and mutagenesis using recombinases, imaging and cryopreservation.

Appointed teachers and instructors for this zebrafish workshop include: Liz Patton, Carl Tucker, Koichi Kawakami, Stephen Ekker, Keith Joung, Henry Roehl, Robert Kelsh, Martin Denvir, David Lyons, Dirk Seiger, Yi Feng and Karthikeyani Paranthaman.

If you are interested to learn how to work with this alternative vertebrate animal model do not miss this extraordinary opportunity to become familar with basic zebrafish transgenesis techniques and register your interest to attend this hands-on workshop, associated with the TT2014 meeting.


Highlights of the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: a conference you can’t miss!

June 5th, 2014
The TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (6-8 October 2014)

The TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (6-8 October 2014)

This year’s ISTT main activity is the 12th Transgenic Technology conference, the TT2014 meeting, which will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, followed by a 2-day hands-on workshop on basic zebrafish transgenesis techniques. The ISTT promotes the TT meetings every 18 months, these being the most important activity of our Society. This year, the local Organizers and advisory committees, commanded by Douglas Strathdee, need to be praised for preparing a most appealing and interesting program, addressing hot topics, current and most up-to-date issues actively discussed nowadays by the transgenic animal community. Talks that will be presented by the most active and prestigious scientists in our field.

Why you shouldn’t miss the TT2014 meeting?

  • If you are interested in the new transgenic methods associated to nucleases (ZFNs, TALENs and CRISPRs-Cas9) there will be plenty of  interesting talks where these new fantastic tools will be presented and discussed, directly by the key players in this rapidly-evolving field, including: Rudolf Jaenisch, William Skarnes, Angelika Schnieke, Kai Schönig, Ignacion Anegon, Pawel Pelczar, Francis Stewart, Keith Joung and Feng Zhang. And, most likely, these techniques will be referred and cited in many additional talks too, including the round table discussion about the future of transgenic core facilities, chaired by James Bussell.
  • If you are interested in ES cell biology and in innovative uses of ES cells and associated technologies there will be unique talks delivered by Jos Jonkers, Austin Smith, Ian Chambers, Janet Rossant and Alex Joyner
  • If you are interested in phenotyping your mouse animal models there will be fantastic talks delivered by  Jacqueline White, Stephen Murray, David Adams, Daniel MurphyAnna-Katerina Hadjatonakis and Vasilis Ntziachristos
  • If you are interested in non-rodent, large mammals and birds, animal models there will be great talks by James Murray, Angelika Schnieke, Mike McGrew and Adrian Shermann
  • If you are interested in rats there will be compelling talks by Kai Schönig and Ignacio Anegon
  • If you are interested in zebrafish animal models there will be fascinating talks by Stephen Ekker, Koichi KawakamiKeith Joung and Elizabeth Patton
  • If you are interested in animal welfare and 3Rs, in the best use of our laboratory animals, there will be captivating talks by Peter Hohenstein, Sara Wells and Jan-Bas Prins.

Therefore, there will be really engaging talks interesting to everyone in our field. This is why you shouldn’t miss this great and unique opportunity!.

Register now for the TT2014 meeting. Submission of abstracts will be accepted up to June 30. Early-Bird registration at reduced fees will be promoted up to July 31. ISTT members are entitled to reduced fee registration.

See you all in Edinburgh in October!


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