Archive for the ‘knock-outs’ Category

Advertising the TT2014 meeting from your institutions: put one of these Posters!

Friday, February 28th, 2014
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12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014

12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 6-8 October 2014

The next ISTT meeting will be held in Europe this year. The 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on 6-8 October 2014, organized by ISTT members Douglas Strathdee (chair), Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw, and hosted by three Scottish research institutes and the University of Edinburgh: the Roslin Institute; the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research. The TT2014 meeting will be followed by the 2-day hands-on workshop “An Introduction to Zebrafish Transgenesis“, on 8-10 October 2014.

An outstanding group of invited speakers have confirmed their participation at the TT2014 meeting. Abstract submissions and application for the ISTT registration awards (for ISTT members) deadlines merge on 30 June 2014. Early bird registration deadline at reduced fees is 31 July 2014. A number of submitted abstracts will be selected for oral presentation on topics including:

  • new technologies in transgenesis
  • pluripotential stem cells
  • targeted nucleases and genome editing
  • models of human disease
  • animal ethics and welfare
  • large-scale phenotyping initiatives
  • animal biotechnology
  • in vivo imaging
  • zebrafish models and transgenesis

Douglas Strathdee and his colleagues have prepared the following collection of eight Posters to advertise the TT2014 meeting, illustrated with beautiful Edinburgh pictures. Please, help us announcing and disseminating the TT2014 meeting by putting one or several of these Posters at your centres, institutions, facilities, departments, universities. The TT meeting is a unique forum occurring every 18 months where to discuss the latest technical developments and applications on animal transgenesis. This is a conference that can’t be missed by anyone interested in this subject! Thanks for helping us advertise the TT2014 meeting!

TT2014 Poster version 1

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A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

A report on the 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Strasbourg, organized by Charles River

The 7th European Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science, organized by Charles River, just closed in Strasbourg, France, after three days of interesting presentations and discussions at the intersection between animal welfare, animal experimentation, current guidelines and legislation, biomedical research from academia and industry and society perception on these topics. The Organizers should be praised for the selection and variety of topics, as well as for the smooth and pleasant running of the entire course, which included an enjoyable visit to an old typical cellar from the Alsace region along with a wine-testing Gala dinner.

Several ISTT members participated in this event, including organizers (Cyril Desvignes, Jean Cozzi), members of the steering committee (Johannes Wilbertz), invited speakers (Belén Pintado, Yann Herault, Ignacio Anegon, Lluís Montoliu), and participants (Marcello Raspa, Ferenc Erdelyi, Gabor Szabo,…) among other.

During this course, the recent EU Directive 2010/63 on the protection of animals used in research and its implication on the use of animals in biomedical research and policies throughout Europe was discussed, from different angles, by Magda Chlebus, Gill Fleetwood, Thierry Decelle, Patri Vergara and Belén Pintado. Topics covered included the new training courses and competencies to work with experimentation animals in Europe, the animal-welfare bodies and the current understanding of the 3R’s paradigm. Javier Guillén compared, side by side, the new EU Directive with the current Guide in the US and highlighted their many coincidences, suggesting that a combined use of both documents would be ideal for the adoption of successful animal care and use programs. Jan-Bas Prins, current president of FELASA, presented his view of the field of laboratory animal sciences, before the implementation of this new EU Directive, as an opportunity and a positive challenge to interface and exchange knowledge with many other players involved.

Health monitoring programs, rodent microbiologic surveillance, methods employed to detect all these pathogens robustly in laboratory animal facilities and the updated recommendations from FELASA, recently published in Laboratory Animals, were presented by William Shek, Guy Mulder, Stéphanie Durand and Axel Kornerup Hansen. Operational and technical aspects of animal facilities were discussed by Alberto Gobbi and Peter Dockx, whereas the issues related with occupational health and safety program evaluations were presented by Jann Hau.

Examples of the use of rodent animal models in biomedical research, in academia, by James Di Santo and Andrea Bertotti, as well as in the industry, by Joyce L. Young, were discussed. The importance of genetic quality in mouse research as well as the complexity of mouse genome and the impact of the genetic background on phenotypes was presented by Charles Miller and Lluís Montoliu, respectively. The procedures conducted at the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) as well as the challenges they encountered during the deployment of this impressively large enterprise were presented and discussed by Sara Wells and, by the local representative, Yann Herault, Director of the French Mouse Clinic, ICS, in Strasbourg, who delivered the closing talk.

The newest technologies in stem cell biology and animal transgenesis were also present at this 7th Short Course. Hongkui Deng summarized the most innovative approach he devised to prepare induced-pluripotent cells from somatic cells, using a cocktail of four chemicals, four molecules that mimicked the induction signals described by Shinya Yamanaka. The new logics for the production of targeted genetic modifications, using editing or engineered nucleases (Meganuclease, ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPRs) in mice and rats was presented by Ralf Kuehn and Ignacio Anegon, respectively.

The choice of rodent anaestesia protocols was discussed by Aurelie Thomas, whereas the various methods for euthanasia in rodents were presented by Huw Golledge. On the last day, Aurora Bronstad summarized the work done at the AALAS-FELASA joint working group on harm-benefit analysis, whereas Katrina Gore highlighted the need for more robust analytical procedures in research protocols involving animal experimentation, in order to optimize the rate of success of pre-clinical drugs.

In summary, the 7th Edition of this biennial Charles River Short Course on Laboratory Animal Science in Europe, attended by some 120 participants, was an excellent opportunity to update information related to animal welfare, EU legislation and transposition difficulties in various countries, newest technologies, mouse genomics and genetics, large mouse consortia and numerous important topics that are relevant for animal facility managers, researchers, veterinarians and anyone else interested in the best use of animals in experiments, according to current laws and recommendations.

More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available to ISTT members through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

Sunday, February 9th, 2014
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More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

More than 27,000 messages on animal transgenesis available through ISTT_list and tg-l archives

One of the most important assets of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), is the amount of information on animal transgenesis accummulated through the archives of the ISTT_list and tg-l email lists. Currently, more than 27,000 messages are fully available to ISTT members, conveniently organized in searchable and dynamic archives. The traditional transgenic-list (tg-l), operative since 1996 and offered from the ISTT web server since the end of 2011, has distributed over 22,000 messages since then, whereas the ISTT_list, associated and born with our Society in 2006, has disseminated some 5,000 messages, discussing both lists on almost each and every topic, issue or situation related directly or indirectly with animal transgenesis. All this endless information resource is fully available to ISTT members, through powerful search engines. Non-ISTT members subscribing to tg-l have access only to the most recent messages distributed through the tg-l, using the simple search engine, which allows simple searches and outputs the 50 most recent messages discussed on the subject of interest. In contrast, ISTT members have access to more sophysticated searching engines and the output always contains all messages archived on the matter investigated.

Obtaining granted access to these rich sources of information is very easy and cheap. Simply apply for ISTT membership! Submit now your application to become a member of the ISTT and you will get immediate and full access to all these messages.

Cell-permeable Cre recombinase for rapid conversion of EUCOMM/KOMP-CSD alleles

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
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Rapid conversion of EUCOMM/KOMP-CSD alleles in mouse embryos using a cell-permeable Cre recombinase. (Figure 1 from Ryder, Doe et al. Transgenic Research, 2013 Nov 7. DOI: 10.1007/s11248-013-9764-x)

Rapid conversion of EUCOMM/KOMP-CSD alleles in mouse embryos using a cell-permeable Cre recombinase. (Figure 1 from Ryder, Doe et al. Transgenic Research, 2013 Nov 7. DOI: 10.1007/s11248-013-9764-x)

Our colleagues from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, UK, most of them ISTT members, have just published a very interesting paper in Transgenic Research, the scientific journal associated with the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT),  describing the use of a cell-permeable Cre recombinase for the rapid conversion of EUCOMM/KOMP-CSD alleles directly in mouse embryos, hence avoiding the traditional breeding of mice produced with the original tm1a alleles with Cre-transgenic mouse lines to produce non-conditional knockout alleles (tm1b allele). This innovative procedure saves time, money, and, most importantly, many animals, thus contributing to animal welfare.

Rapid conversion of EUCOMM/KOMP-CSD alleles in mouse embryos using a cell-permeable Cre recombinase.
Ryder E, Doe B, Gleeson D, Houghton R, Dalvi P, Grau E, Habib B, Miklejewska E, Newman S, Sethi D, Sinclair C, Vyas S, Wardle-Jones H; Sanger Mouse Genetics Project, Bottomley J, Bussell J, Galli A, Salisbury J, Ramirez-Solis R.
Transgenic Res. 2013 Nov 7

Workshop report: animals bred, but not used in experiments

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
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Workshop:  “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands.

Experiments in biomedical science use large numbers of laboratory animals. It is a fact that to provide these animals, regularly more animals are bred than are finally used in the experiments planned. The Ministry of Economic Affairs as the competent body of the Netherlands had asked Prof. Coenraad Hendriksen and Dr. Jan-Bas Prins to organize a workshop to identify the reasons for the breeding of surplus animals and to devise recommendations as to how the number of animals that are bred but not used can be reduced to a minimum.

A number of experts from different fields of laboratory animal science were invited for a two day workshop to the Hotel Duin & Kruidberg in Santpoort, a town close to Amsterdam, to discuss these issues and to develop a paper for the Dutch authorities. Obviously, many of the laboratory animals bred are genetically altered (GA) animals. Moreover, techniques to cryopreserve GA animal lines could be a means to reduce the number of animals that are bred. The invitation was therefore extended to the ISTT to send a representative to take part in this workshop.

Here, I will give a short summary of the topics that have been discussed and of the outcomes. However, I refer you to the final report of the workshop, parts of which have been developed within individual small workgroups and will be put together into a final document by the kind efforts of Coenraad and Jan-Bas. I will inform you immediately upon the publication of this report.

A topic central to the discussion was the identification of reasons for the production of animals that are then not used in experiments. A major reason for this is the production of unwanted sexes and unwanted genotypes. The participants agreed that good planning can considerably reduce the number of surplus animals. At the same time, resources can be saved and either used for additional experiments or for cost reduction. However, breeding schemes with multiple alleles, as well as the organization of a facility, can be complex. A strong need for counseling as well as education of users of laboratory animals was identified, to make them competent to plan accordingly. The centralization of the breeding colonies under the responsibility of the facility management was discussed as a possibility to streamline breeding strategies. On the other hand, for the time being, this does not seem to be feasible for very many facilities. Local Animal Welfare Committees should evaluate local SOPs and develop a catalogue of best practices to help keep surplus animals to a minimum. GA animal lines should be cryopreserved immediately after their creation when there is no need to breed extra animals for this purpose and when animals from test rederivations can be used for experiments or for the breeding colony. Thereby, the lines are protected from disaster and from genetic drift at the same time, live mice can be terminated at any time, and the lines can be easily shipped to collaborators. Lines should be made available to collaborators as early as possibly to avoid generating the same line at different places. In case expertise for cryopreservation is lacking, lines can be donated to repositories like EMMA where they are cryopreserved free of charge. Investigators should always consider sharing lines with the scientific community through such repositories.

A second important topic discussed during the workshop was the use of new technologies for the generation of GA animals as well as for their experimental analysis. New lines should be directly generated on the desired background. In case backcrossing is needed, speed congenic strategies should be used to reduce the number of animals needed during that process. Technologies utilizing the targeting of nucleases to the locus of interest (ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPER/Cas9) promise to eventually allow the generation of GA lines with reduced numbers of animals directly on the desired background. Complex strategies for the generation of customized animals for specific experiments were presented. It was agreed that these should be freely available. However, individual scientists and institutes should evaluate whether it is worth adopting a new and complicated technique. Since the process of setting up complex protocols may well lead to the use of high numbers of animals, investigators should consider collaborating with colleagues who perform similar experiments at large scales.

Ethical considerations let us come to the understanding that there is an intrinsic value of life. We found that it is for this reason that it is morally wrong to kill more animals than absolutely necessary. Biomedical science is tasked with producing answers to pressing questions on the molecular functions of life and disease and finding new cures. It was pointed out that the principles of the 3R’s have to be respected at all times, but a number of animal experiments are indispensable. In this context, it is unavoidable to breed animals that are not used for these experiments, but it is important to ensure that their numbers are kept to a minimum.

Boris Jerchow
Member of ISTT’s Executive Council
October 23, 2013

List of participants and affiliations, excluding those who were unable to send permission for disclosure:

van der Broek, Frank, NVWA, The Netherlands; Aleström, Peter, The Norwegian Zebrafish Platform, Norway; Benavides, Fernando, University of Texas, USA*; Bussell, James, Wellcom Trust Sanger Institute, UK*; Chrobot, Nichola, MRC Harwell, UK; van Es, Johan, Hubrecht University, The Netherlands; Fentener van Vlissingen, Martje, Erasmus MC, The Netherlands; Hendriksen, Coenraad, InTraVacc, The Netherlands; Hohenstein, Peter, Roslin Intitute, UK*; Krimpenfort, Paul, NKI, The Netherlands; Morton, David, UK; Prins, Jan-Bas, LUMC, The Netherlands; Raspa, Marcello, EMMA, Italy*; Tramper, Ronno, Consultant, The Netherlands; van der Valk, Jan, NKCA; Wilbertz, Johannes, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden*; Ohl, Frauke, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; Pool, Chris, KNAW, The Netherlands; Witler, Lars, Max-Planck Institute Mol. Gen., Berlin, Germany*.

* ISTT members

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Workshop: “Animals bred, but not used in experiments”, October 18-20, 2013, Hotel Duin & Kruidberg, Santpoort, the Netherlands (Picture kindly provided by Fernando Benavides)

Janet Rossant will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh

Monday, October 21st, 2013
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Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada) will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (picture kindly provided by JR)

Janet Rossant (Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada) will be awarded the 10th ISTT Prize at the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh (picture kindly provided by JR)

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to award the 10th ISTT Prize to Professor Janet Rossant, Senior Scientist in the Developmental & Stem Cell Biology Program, Chief of Research at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; University Professor at the University of Toronto; Deputy Scientific Director of the Canadian Stem Cell Network; and Professor in the Departments of Molecular Genetics, Obstetrics / Gynaecology and Paediatrics at the University of Toronto. The ISTT Prize is given to an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of transgenic technologies. As a world leader in developmental biology, and someone who has made seminal contributions to our field, Professor Janet Rossant will receive the award at the next Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2014), which will be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK) on October 6-8, 2014.

In awarding this prize to Dr. Rossant, the ISTT Prize committee acknowledges her many fundamental contributions to the science and technology of manipulating early pre-implantation mouse embryos and their instrumental role in our current understanding of mouse genetics and developmental biology. Her work on embryonic stem cell biology, blastocyst-derived cell lineages, and the mechanisms of cell-fate decisions in the early mouse embryo have been fundamental in deciphering how embryo-derived stem cells can be maintained and differentiated. Furthermore, her personal contributions in all of these areas have facilitated the development of the mouse transgenesis tools and methods used daily by many ISTT members.

Along with her active participation in many other related scientific and educational events, the ISTT Prize committee wishes to highlight Dr. Rossant’s most generous dedication to the dissemination of mouse transgenesis techniques among young scientists and technologists, through her pivotal role in the organization of the Great Lakes Mammalian Developmental Biology Meeting series in Toronto for more than thirty-five years, and her participation in the two classical CSHLP videos on techniques of mouse transgenesis (1989) and ES cells (1993), still regularly used today, and available as digital videos from the ISTT web site for its members.

Dr. Rossant was among the few pioneers who established, mastered and disseminated the technique of introducing targeted mutations into genes using mouse ES cells, leading to the generation of knockout mice and using them both to understand fundamental developmental processes and as animal models of human disease. Dr. Rossant’s interest in following the progression of mouse development from embryo to adulthood has led her to study stem cells from which individual tissues are derived during development. Her current research interests are focused on understanding the genetic control of normal and abnormal development in the early mouse embryo using both cellular and genetic manipulation techniques. Her interests in the early embryo have increased our understanding of the trophectoderm, and the discovery of a novel placental stem cell type, the trophoblast stem cell. Her current goal is to understand the genetic and cellular networks involved in blastocyst formation. By understanding how normal mammalian development occurs, she aims to understand how to regulate pluripotency using human ES or iPS cells in future therapeutical applications.

Dr. Rossant was born in Chatham (UK) in 1950. She obtained her B.A. and M.A. in Zoology at the University of Oxford, UK, in 1972, followed by her PhD in Developmental Biology in 1976 at the University of Cambridge, UK, working in Richard Gardner’s laboratory. While she was an undergraduate student in Oxford she attended a few courses taught by John Gurdon and became fascinated by developmental biology. Since 1977 she has been working in Canada, first at Brock University in St Catharines as an Assistant Professor and later as Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, where she was appointed Professor in 2001. Since 1985 she has been working in Toronto, first at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, until 2005, and then at the Hospital for Sick Children, where she now leads her research group.

In addition to being awarded the 10th ISTT Prize for Transgenic Technologies at the TT2014 meeting by the International Society for Transgenic Technologies, Dr. Rossant has been recognized for her contributions to science with many other awards, including the Killam Prize for Health Sciences, the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology, the Conklin Medal from the Society for Developmental Biology, the CIHR Michael Smith Prize in Health Research (Canada’s most prestigious health research award), the Excellence in Science Award from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the National Cancer Institute of Canada /Eli Lilly Robert L. Noble Prize for excellence in cancer research, and the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada. She has twice been named a Howard Hughes International Scholar, and is a recipient of the Ross G. Harrison Medal (lifetime achievement award) from the International Society of Developmental Biologists. She is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of both London and Canada, and is a foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Science.

Her highly prolific career includes over 340 publications, including some milestone achievements in the fields of early mouse embryogenesis and stem cell biology.

Her first few papers, dating from 1975, already addressed what would be a recurrent research topic in her career, namely, investigating the cell-fate determination of the inner cell mass of mouse blastocysts, from which embryonic stem cells are derived. She worked with Andrzej K. Tarkowski, the pioneer in producing mouse chimeras, and published with him a 1976 Nature paper on the development of haploid mouse blastocysts from bisected zygotes. She worked in 1979 with Richard Gardner, another pioneering researcher in pre-implantation embryos, investigating the cell fate of inner cell mass cells. Her studies resulted in the completely normal development of interspecific chimeras in mammals in 1980, using two species of mice. Since the early 1980s she showed an interest in the trophectoderm cell lineage and its relevance in mammalian pre-implantation embryos and in the generation of the placenta and other extra-embryonic cell lineages. Since then she has collaborated with many other key scientists in the fields of mouse transgenesis, mouse embryogenesis and stem cells, including V. Papaioannou, R. Balling, A. McLaren, A. Bernstein, A. Nagy, A. Joyner, W. Skarnes, A. Gossler, KS. Zaret, TW. Mak, A. Pawson, A. McMahon, R. Jaenisch, EM. DeRobertis, P. Soriano, D. Melton, R. Kemler, P. Avner, S. Yamanaka and Q. Zhou, among many others, and has contributed extensively in the areas of mammalian vascular development, trophoblast-derived cell lineages, and early mouse embryogenesis, as well as in the development of large-scale collaborations such as the International Gene Trap Consortium, The International Knockout Mouse Consortium, and the International Stem Cell Initiative, for establishing benchmarks for human stem cell research. Dr. Janet Rossant is also the current President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Dr. Rossant joins the list of previously awarded scientists with the ISTT Prize, consisting of (in descending chronological order): Allan Bradley (2013), Ralph L. Brinster (2011), A. Francis Stewart (2010), Brigid Hogan (2008), Charles Babinet (2007), Andras Nagy (2005), Qi Zhou (2004), Kenneth J. McCreath (2002), Teruhiko Wakayama (2001). All ISTT Prize winners are given Honorary Membership in the ISTT and a unique sculpture representing a silver mouse blastocyst created by the Hungarian artist Mr. Béla Rozsnyay.

The ISTT Prize Committee includes the ISTT President and Vice-President, the CEO of genOway (the company generously sponsoring the award), and previous ISTT Prize awardees.

Selected references from Janet Rossant’s lifetime achievements:

Download the 10th ISTT Prize press release to be awarded to Janet Rossant

Additional sources of information for Janet Rossant’s biography:

 

 

Numerous ISTT events in June 2013

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
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Numerous ISTT events in June 2013

Numerous ISTT events in June 2013

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) will be participating and/or co-sponsoring numerous events during the month of June 2013. At first, on June 7, 2013, our ISTT colleagues from Nantes (France), Ignacio Anegon and Séverine Ménoret, experts in the generation of transgenic rats, will be holding their 2013 Nantes Transgenic meeting on “Technical advances in the generation of transgenic animals and in their applications“. Next, on June 10-13, 2013, in Barcelona (Spain), the 12th FELASA-SECAL congress will take place, where the ISTT will be participating in two ways. First, the ISTT will co-sponsor the satellite workshop on Mouse Sperm Cryopreservation, to be held within the 2013 FELASA meeting, on 10 June 2013, Barcelona, Spain, and organized by ISTT members Jorge Sztein (NIH, USA) and Jesús Martínez-Palacio (CIEMAT, Madrid, Spain). Second, the ISTT will be participating as exhibitor and will attend the 2013 FELASA meeting. The ISTT will have a booth in Barcelona (#230), manned by the ISTT administrative assistant, Alison Cameron, and where all ISTT members (and non-ISTT members) are welcome to visiting us. Finally, immediately next, our ISTT colleagues from The Netherlands, Marian Van Roon (VU, Amsterdam) and Sjef Verbeek (LUMC, Leiden), have organized their 2013 Workshop on Innovative Mouse Models (IMM2013). This 7th Workshop on Innovative Mouse Models will be held on 13-14 June 2013, at the Leiden University Medical Center, LUMC, Leiden, The Netherlands, and the ISTT will be co-sponsoring also this event. ISTT members will be entitled to reduced registrations at all these events, proudly co-sponsored by the ISTT.

Transgenic mice obtained from androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
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Transgenic mice obtained from androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (W Li et al. Nature 000, 1-5 (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11435)

Transgenic mice obtained from androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells. Image adapted by permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd:NATURE (W Li et al. Nature 000, 1-5 (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11435), copyright (2012).

Prof. Xiao-Yang Zhao (ISTT Ordinary member and awarded the first ISTT Young Investigator Award in Florida (USA), at the TT2011 meeting) and Prof. Qi Zhou (ISTT Honorary member and awarded the third ISTT Prize in Uppsala (Sweden), at the TT2004 meeting), and his colleagues from the State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing (China), as well as other collaborating institutions, just published a letter in Nature describing how live transgenic mice can be obtained from androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (Li et al. Nature 2012).

Androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells produce live transgenic mice
Wei Li, Ling Shuai, Haifeng Wan, Mingzhu Dong, Meng Wang, Lisi Sang, Chunjing Feng, Guan-Zheng Luo, Tianda Li, Xin Li, Libin Wang, Qin-Yuan Zheng, Chao Sheng, Hua-Jun Wu, Zhonghua Liu, Lei Liu, Liu Wang, Xiu-Jie Wang, Xiao-Yang Zhao & Qi Zhou
Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11435.

Mouse androgenetic haploid embryonic stem (ahES) cells can be established by transferring sperm into an enucleated oocyte. These ahES cells maintain haploidy and are stable in culture. In addition, these ahES cells can contribute to the germline of chimeric mice when microinjected into blastocysts. Furthermore, these ahES cells can be delivered by intracytoplasmic injection into mature oocytes, eventually resulting into viable fertile mice that will inherit any genetic modification previously transferred to ahES cells while in culture. As stated by the authors, this work “provides a new approach for genetic manipulation in animal models without available germline-competent ES cells, including non-human primates, as modifications in such haploid stem cells could be transmitted to offspring through intracytoplasmic injection into mature oocytes, which may serve as a more efficient and simple strategy for gene-targeting studies“.

Earlier this year, in the April 27 issue of Cell, an independent study, developed in parallel, from Guo-Liang Xu’s (State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology) and Jinsong Li‘s (State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology) laboratories from the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai (China) and their collaborators, including Xiang Gao (Model Animal Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China), reported similar extraordinary findings.

Generation of genetically modified mice by oocyte injection of androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells.
Yang H, Shi L, Wang BA, Liang D, Zhong C, Liu W, Nie Y, Liu J, Zhao J, Gao X, Li D, Xu GL, Li J.
Cell. 2012 Apr 27;149(3):605-17.

These three scientists, Qi Zhou (Beijing, China), Jinsong Li (Shanghai, China) and Xiang Gao (Nanjing, China) will participate as invited speakers in the next 11th Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2013) that will be held in Guangzhou (China), on 25-27 February 2013. In particular, both Qi Zhou and Jinsong Li will be presenting their most recent and excellent works on the isolation of androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells and their use to produce genetically-modified mice.

Once again, the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to present the latest advances in animal transgenic technology at the TT meetings, next one (TT2013) to be held in Guangzhou (China), in February 2013. Anyone interested in these transgenic techniques and their applications should not miss this great opportunity to learn all these new developments, directly presented by their inventors.

The ISTT journey: from Barcelona to Guangzhou, now it is time for China! The TT2013 meeting

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
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The ISTT journey: from Barcelona to Guangzhou, now it is time for China! The TT2013 meeting

The ISTT journey: from Barcelona to Guangzhou, now it is time for China! The TT2013 meeting

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) was founded shortly after the Transgenic Technology (TT) meeting in Barcelona (TT2005). Since then, the ISTT family has been fortunate to visit several countries, every ~18 months. In 2007 we went to Brisbane (TT2007).  In 2008, we visited Toronto (TT2008). In 2010 we returned to Europe and held the TT2010 meeting in Berlin. For 2011 we visited the USA for the first time, and organized the TT2011 meeting in St Pete Beach (Florida). And, now, the next TT meeting (TT2013) is planned for China, in Guangzhou. This has been one of our aims and challenges, since the foundation of the ISTT, namely, holding a TT meeting in Asia, in China. Now it has become a reality. The 11th Transgenic Technology meeting (TT2013) will be held in Guangzhou (China), on 25-27 February 2013, organized by Prof. Ming Zhao (Chair) (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou) and his Organizing and Advisory Committees, immediately after celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Snake. More than 30 speakers have confirmed their participation, to discuss about ES cells, iPS cells, targeted nucleases (ZFNs and TALENs), cryopreservation and reproduction techniques, running a transgenic facility, mouse genetics, epigenetics, ethics and animal welfare, transgenesis in other vertebrates, animal models of disease, etc… among many other interesting topics. At the TT2013 meeting, the ISTT will award the 9th ISTT Prize for outstanding contributions to transgenic technologies to Prof. Allan Bradley,  Director Emeritus of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (WTSI), in Hinxton (UK), and leader of the Mouse Genomics Team at WTSI.

In addition, a 3-day hands-on practical workshop (28 February-2 March 2013) will be offered in Guangzhou after the TT2013 meeting, addressing basic microinjection techniques, piezo injection, laser-assisted application, non-surgical implantation, mouse colony management and other interesting topics. This workshop is organized by Wenhao Xu (University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA), Chair,  Ming Zhao (Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China), Jing An (Cancer Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China) and Liangping Li (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China).

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the latest advances in animal transgenic by world experts! Time is going fast and first deadlines (15 October 2012), for registering at reduced fees, for submitting abstracts, for applying for ISTT registration awards and for nominating candidates for ISTT Young Investigator awards are rapidly approaching.

See you all in China!

One day meeting in London on Conditional Transgenic Techniques: Principles & Best Practice

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
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One day meeting in London on Conditional Transgenic Techniques: Principles & Best Practice

One day meeting in London on Conditional Transgenic Techniques: Principles & Best Practice

Registration is now open for a new transgenic training event on “Conditional Transgenic Techniques: Principles & Best Practice“, organized by the RSPCA, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, the Mary Lyon Centre from MRC in Harwell, and the National Institute for Medical Research from MRC in London.

This is a one day meeting on current best practice in the production of genetically altered mice, using conditional transgenic techniques. Topics will include:
* the technology of inducible and conditional systems
* examples of their use
* recombinases: whats available, limitations & how to test efficacy
* conditional allele resources
* breeding schemes

The meeting is being held in central London on Thursday 4th October 2012, and is limited to 100 places allocated on a first come first served basis. Registration (including lunch) will cost £60, so for more information or to book a place and get a registration form email GA@rspca.org.uk putting “conditional workshop” in the title field.


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