Archive for the ‘COST’ Category

SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
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SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

SALAAM: Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models

The EU-COST action SALAAM (Sharing Advances on Large Animal Models) was launched yesterday in Brussels, at a kick-off meeting attended by most of its members. This 4-year EU-COST action is currently formed by 17 countries and more than 44 participants, including many experts in the fields of animal genetics, physiology, transgenesis, bioethics, welfare and animal science, with a focus on large (i.e. non-rodent) animal models. This EU-COST action is chaired by Prof Eckhard Wolf (Germany) and vice-chaired by Dr. Pascale Chavatte-Palmer (France) and it includes various ISTT members such as Bruce Whitelaw (UK), Zsuzsanna Bosze (Hungary), András Dinnyes (Hungary), Cesare Galli (Italy) and Lluis Montoliu (Spain). In addition, another participant in this EU-COST action, Angelika Schnieke (Germany) is one of the invited speakers at the forthcoming 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting to be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK).

EU-COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is one of the oldest European initiatives in Science, an intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, allowing the coordination of nationally-funded research on a European level. SALAAM EU-COST action, as its acronym indicates, aims to sharing advances in genetic engineering and phenotyping of non-rodent mammals to develop predictive animal models for translational medicine. While recognizing the value of small and most popular animal models (mouse, rat, zebrafish, Drosophila, C. elegans, …) and its powerful genetics for increasing our knowledge on complex biological systems and for proof-of-concept-type experiments, this EU-COST action SALAAM focuses on large (i.e. non-rodent) mammalian models, since these may bridge the gap between proof-of-concept studies and more effective clinical trials, leading to better translational animal models for the study of human diseases. The research projects undertaken using rodent and non-rodent animal models should not be perceived as competition or opposed initiatives, rather as complementary studies, where each animal species is selected according to its particular value and expected benefits for the ultimate goal, that is, our understanding on the function of the mammalian (i.e. human) genome and the eventual development of effective treatments for many human diseases. During the course of this EU-COST action several conferences and training workshops will be organized, open to anyone interested in the field, to discuss about (1) new technologies (including the application of genome editing nucleases, i.e. CRISPR-Cas, for the generation of improved genetically altered animal models); (2) defining best animal models for specific phenotyping studies; (3) creation of databases for sharing information on animal models creates, tissues available and protocols; and (4) animal welfare, bioethics and communication to the public. All these conferences and training courses will be adequately advertised through the ISTT web site.

At the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) we care about the generation and the analysis of “all” genetically altered animals, not only focused in the classical rodent models, but also including the work done with other species, with large animal models, in livestock. In this regard, the ISTT has been traditionally supporting conferences on non-rodent transgenic animals, organized in Tahoe by ISTT Member Jim Murray (UC Davis, USA) and has promoted a web page within the ISTT web site where most of the advances on livestock and other non-rodent genetically modified animal resources are shared. At the next 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, which will be held in Edinburgh on 6-8 October 2014, the Conference Organizers (Douglas Strathdee-Chair, Peter Hohenstein and Bruce Whitelaw) have scheduled a session on animal biotechnology, where the recent work accomplished using large animal models will be discussed. In addition, immediately following the TT2014 meeting, a hands-on workshop on zebrafish transgenesis methods will be offered to interested participants.

RGB-Net: A European funded COST Action focused on Rabbit Genome Biology, including Transgenic Rabbits

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
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RGB-Net: A European funded COST Action focused on Rabbit Genome Biology, including Transgenic Rabbits

RGB-Net: A European funded COST Action focused on Rabbit Genome Biology, including Transgenic Rabbits

A COST Action entitled “A Collaborative European Network on Rabbit Genome Biology – RGB-Net” has been recently funded by the European Union.

Why a COST Action on Rabbit Genome Biology? The rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a key species in biology. Basic discoveries have been made investigating this mammal whose genome has been recently sequenced. The rabbit is a livestock, an animal model, a wild resource, a pest and a fancy animal and comprises a large number of breeding stocks/lines. This COST action brings together experts in all rabbit research areas and in other complementary research fields (breeders, geneticists, bioinformaticians, physiologists, evolutionists, embryologists, immunologists, industry experts, etc.) in order to facilitate the transition of rabbit genomic information from experimental data into usable benefits and applications by means of networking expertise.

Four Working Groups are focused on:

  • 1) the refinement of the European rabbit genome resource and the development of genome-based platforms
  • 2) genetic aspects in meat, fur and pet rabbits and biodiversity resources
  • 3) the rabbit as a model in basic biology and human diseases and as a tool for biotechnology applications and
  • 4) genetic and comparative genomic aspects for the study, exploitation and management of wild lagomorphs.

The expected outcome is a coordination of rabbit research activities and a transfer of knowledge which will produce a strong European added value across a broad spectrum of biology research fields, including applications and new developments on transgenic rabbits, as defined by Working Group 3 that enlists many experts in this field. RGB-Net is organizing workshops, meetings, training schools and can provide funds for short term scientific mobility.

RGB-Net is open to all interested scientists from European and non-European countries. Contacts: Prof. Luca Fontanesi, Chair of RGB-Net; Prof. Zsuzsanna Bosze, RGB-Net WG3 Leader and ISTT Member.
Additional details can be obtained from RGB-Net website.


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