Archive for the ‘information’ 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

TT2014 Poster version 1

TT2014 Poster version 1 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 1 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 2

TT2014 Poster version 2

TT2014 Poster version 2 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 2 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 3

TT2014 Poster version 3

TT2014 Poster version 3 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 3 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 4

TT2014 Poster version 4

TT2014 Poster version 4 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 4 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 5

TT2014 Poster version 5

TT2014 Poster version 5 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 5 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 6

TT2014 Poster version 6

TT2014 Poster version 6 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 6 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 7

TT2014 Poster version 7

TT2014 Poster version 7 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 7 (A3 format)

TT2014 Poster version 8

TT2014 Poster version 8

TT2014 Poster version 8 (A4 format)
TT2014 Poster version 8 (A3 format)

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.

Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Monday, January 27th, 2014
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Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Requesting proposals to host the 13th Transgenic Technology (TT2016) meeting

Dear ISTT members,

We are pleased to invite your proposals for hosting the 13th Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2016) in February-March 2016. The updated ISTT bylaws, which were approved at the TT2013 meeting in China, now allow proposals to be received from anywhere in the world, without the requirement for a rotation between regions. Therefore, ISTT members from all continents are encouraged to consider hosting the TT2016 meeting in their city, with the support of their institution(s).

Please note that only ISTT members are entitled to submit proposals to host a TT meeting.

Important points to be addressed in any submitted proposal:

  1. The proposal must have the support of the hosting institution(s). Letters of support from the corresponding director(s) of organizing institution(s) must be provided.
  2. The hosting institution(s) are fully liable for the organization of the meeting, including all economic aspects.
  3. A proposed preliminary budget should be included in the proposal, along with suggested registration fees.
  4. A preliminary program for the TT2016 meeting, including topics (not necessarily speakers) and proposed workshops should be provided. This program should take into account the topics and speakers invited at previous TT meetings, avoiding unnecessary repetition. Full information regarding previous TT meetings organized is available at the members-only area, within the “meetings” tab.
  5. Proposed venue and dates for the TT2016 should be indicated. Exact sites and dates might be subjected to change later, if required, after obtaining the approval from the ISTT council. Information regarding the venue and/or the city where the TT2016 meeting would take place is always desirable as is proof that the venue will be available at the scheduled dates.
  6. Proposed committees should be presented, which should include at a minimum: Organizing Committee, Scientific Advisory Committee.
  7. A meeting Chair (who must be ISTT member) should be clearly identified.
  8. Since TT meetings are the most important activity of the ISTT, the President and other members of the ISTT Council have to be involved in committees and collaborate with local organizers in defining the final program.
  9. Upon selection, a contract will have to be signed between the hosting institution(s) and the ISTT
  10. Information regarding suggested accommodation facilities (and prices) for participants should be provided.
  11. The expected organization of a hands-on workshop on a selected topic, to take place immediately before or after the meeting, is always desirable.
  12. The involvement of a professional meeting organizer is desirable but not essential if there are viable alternatives, such as institutional meeting support staff.
  13. Information on accessibility of the city from international airports as well as between the conference venue and accommodation should be provided. A list of hotels close to the conference including price range is desirable.
  14. Finally, an outline of the proposed social activities should be included.

We look forward to receiving interesting proposals from all over the world. Please submit your proposal (ideally all information organized into a single PDF document) to istt@transtechsociety.org by Friday 27 June 2014. The evaluation committee might contact any proponent in order to request any additional/missing information that would be required to better assess the proposal. The selected venue will be announced by September 30, 2014, and the Chair of the selected proposal will be kindly invited to introduce the highlights of the TT2016 meeting at the closing ceremony of the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh.

Thanks for your due consideration of this message,

Boris Jerchow
Jorge Sztein
Karen Brennan

ISTT Council sub-committee
in charge of evaluating TT2016 proposals

Updated scientific and workshop programmes for the TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh

Friday, January 10th, 2014
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Upades scientific and workshop programmes for TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: Please, register today!.

Upades scientific and workshop programmes for TT2014 meeting in Edinburgh: Please, register today!.

The scientific and zebrafish transgenesis hands-on workshop programmes prepared for the 12th Transgenic Technology (TT2014) meeting, to be held in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK), on October 6-8 (workshop on October 8-10) 2014,  have been recently updated by the Organizers, chaired by Douglas Strathdee (Glasgow, UK). These rewarding updates further increased the already high quality and interest for this popular conference series, promoted from the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), the most important forum where to discuss the state-of-art of animal transgenic technology, to share new developments, to review the deployment of the new methods that have recently being devised and, in summary, an excellent arena where to easily meet, face-to-face, the most relevant key-players in the field while providing a wonderful excuse to gather and ex-change experiences with the entire ISTT family of members.

The updated list of confirmed invited speakers attending the TT2014 meeting (6-8 October 2014) includes:

  • David Adams, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • Ignacio Anegon, Center for Research in Transplantation and Immunology, Nantes, France
  • James Bussell, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • Ian Chalmers, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, The University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Stephen Ekker, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Anna-Katerina Hadjatonakis, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA
  • Peter Hohenstein, The Roslin Institute and Royal Dick School of Vetinary Studies & MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Rudolf Jaenisch, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Nine Cambridge Center Cambridge, USA
  • Jos Jonkers, Division of Molecular Pathology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Keith Joung, Molecular Pathology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA
  • Alexandra Joyner, Developmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York, USA
  • Koichi Kawakami, Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Michael McGrew, Division of Developmental Biology, The Roslin Institute and Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Daniel J Murphy, Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Glasgow, UK
  • James Murray, Department of Animal Science and Department of Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, California, USA
  • Stephen Murray, The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
  • Lluis Montoliu, ISTT President, Organising Committee, National Center of Biotechnology (CNB), CSIC, Madrid, Spain
  • Vasilis Ntziachristos, Technische Universität Mu?nchen, Munich, Germany
  • Elizabeth Patton, MRC Human Genetics Unit & MRC IGMM, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Pawel Pelczar, Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Jan-Bas Prins, Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  • Janet Rossant, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (ISTT Prize)
  • Angelika Schnieke, Livestock Biotechnology, WZW Center of Life Science, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
  • Kai Schönig, Central Institute of Mental Health, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
  • William Skarnes, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • Austin Smith, Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Francis Stewart, Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden, Germany
  • Sara Wells, MRC Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK
  • Jacqueline White, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge UK

The updated list of confirmed invited speakers & instructors attending the hands-on zebrafish transgenesis workshop taking place immediately after the TT2014 meeting (8-10 October 2014) includes:

  • Liz Patton, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, The University of Edinburgh
  • Carl Tucker, Biomedical Research Resources, The University of Edinburgh
  • Tim Czopka, Centre for Neuroregeneration, The University of Edinburgh
  • Koichi Kawakami, Division of Molecular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Stephen Ekker, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  • Keith Joung, Department of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
  • Henry Roehl, Department of Biomedical Science, The University of Sheffield
  • Robert Kelsh, Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Department of Biology and Biochemistry, The University of Bath
  • Martin Denvir, The University of Edinburgh/British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science, The University of Edinburgh
  • David Lyons, Centre for Neuroregeneration, The University of Edinburgh
  • Dirk Seiger, Centre for Neuroregeneration, The University of Edinburgh
  • Karthikeyani Paranthaman, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, The University of Edinburgh

Abstracts: All TT2014 participants are encouraged to submit their work as an abstract for poster presentation at the TT2014 meeting. 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. 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. 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

Registration for both the TT2014 meeting and the zebrafish transgenesis workshop are OPEN. Registration for the TT2014 meetings starts at 265 UK Pounds for technician/student ISTT members and progressively increases for the rest of categories of delegates. ISTT members are always entitled to reduced registration fees. Registration for the zebrafish transgenesis workshop is independent, with an extra cost of 275 UK Pounds , and only open to delegates that have also registered to attend the TT2014 meeting. The early bird reduced registration fees are operative until July 31, 2014. Thereafter, registration will be progressively become more expensive. Hence,  please register by July 31, 2014 to benefit from reduced registration fees.

ISTT Registration Awards: Application to ISTT registration awards for the TT2014 meeting is OPEN. A minimum of six registration awards for ISTT members 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 istt@transtechsociety.org by June 30, 2014. The ISTT will pay the Registration Fee of all applicants selected for an award. Please note that applicants not selected for an award are required to pay the coresponding registration fee. Please note the Award covers registration fees and attendance at 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. Deadline for submitting application for ISTT Registration Awards for TT2014: 30 June 2014. Registration Award decisions will be communicated by 15 July 2014.

Looking forward to meeting you all in Edinburgh!

 

The 2014 ISTT calendar is ready to download!

Monday, December 30th, 2013
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The 2014 ISTT calendar is ready to download!

The 2014 ISTT calendar is ready to download!

The new 2014 ISTT calendar has been created and is now ready to download for free, for anyone interested! The traditional ISTT calendar, highlighting a number of key deadlines, events, courses, workshops related to the ISTT activities, has been kindly prepared this year by Elizabeth Williams (TASQ, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) with the appreciated contribution of ISTT Members Thom Saunders, Pawel Pelczar, Vicente José de Figueirêdo Freitas, Raija Soininen, Sagrario Ortega, Elizabeth Williams, Douglas Strathdee, Hsiao-hui Joyce Chang, Theresa A. Zwingman, Cassandra Du Boulay and Jacek Mendrychowski, who generously shared some of their pictures for illustrating the 2014 ISTT monthly calendar. The ISTT acknowledges them all and appreciates their collaboration for making this beautiful 2014 ISTT calendar, now ready to download, ready to be fixed on your walls, your offices, your labs, your units… Happy New Year! 

Transgenic Technologists form a network across Oceania

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
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Transgenic Technologists form a network across Oceania

Transgenic Technologists form a network across Oceania

The 1st Oceania Transgenic/Cryopreservation Symposium took place at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia on the 31st October -1st November 2013. This meeting was initiated by Elizabeth Williams and has grown out of workshops on cryopreservation of reproductive materials and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) that were run in conjunction with ANZLAA annual conferences (Hobart 2011 & Brisbane 2012). Through these activities it was recognized that there was a need for more local networking, collaboration and communication amongst transgenic technologists across Australia and New Zealand.

The meeting drew 53 participants representing twenty-six different organisations. 14 of the participants were locals from the Brisbane area, but there were also 33 interstate and 6 international delegates; mostly from New Zealand, but with one colleague visiting from Japan. The Australian Institute for Biotechnology and Nanotechnology generously provided the meeting venue and facilities.

The organizers Elizabeth Williams (University of Queensland Biological Resources, Brisbane), Karen Brennan (Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Sydney), Andrew Brown (University of Auckland, Auckland), Paul Scowen (University of Tasmania, Hobart) and Kevin Taylor (Australian Bioresources, Moss Vale), all ISTT members, had canvassed topics from potential participants ahead of the meeting and ran informal discussions under the session headings Cryopreservation, Transgenic and Knock-Out Production, Administrative Issues, Husbandry, New Technologies/Techniques, and Rederivation.

Read the full meeting report prepared by ISTT council member Karen Brennan.

Transgenic Technologists form a network across Oceania

Transgenic Technologists form a network across Oceania

ISTT Best Poster Awards at TT meetings sponsored by Charles River

Sunday, November 10th, 2013
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ISTT Best Poster Awards at TT meetings sponsored by Charles River

ISTT Best Poster Awards at TT meetings sponsored by Charles River

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT), in collaboration with Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL), has establised the ISTT BEST POSTER AWARDS that will be given at the Transgenic Technology (TT) Meetings. The ISTT Best Poster Awards recognize outstanding work presented by participants at Transgenic Technology (TT) meetings. The ISTT Best Poster Awards are generously sponsored by Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (CRL).

All posters accepted and presented at a TT meeting will be eligible for these ISTT Best Poster Awards. An ISTT Best Poster Awards committee will be established by the ISTT in order to select the awarded posters among among all presented communications submitted to a TT meeting as Posters. This committee might include members of the ISTT Council, members of the Local Organizing Committee and any other willing ISTT member and will have a Chair. The ISTT Council will nominate the members of this Committee and its Chair. The number of Posters to be awarded might vary, from TT meeting to TT meeting, although the figure of selecting the three best posters presented might be used as a reference. The scientific and technical quality of the Poster, he novelty of the results presented, as well as the artwork applied and the overall layout of the Poster will be judged by this Committee, among any additional criteria, at its sole discretion. The ISTT will define the nature of the presents to be given to the presenters of the selected awarded Posters.

The next TT meeting where the ISTT Poster Awards will be given is the 12th Transgenic Technology meeting, TT2014, to be held on 6-8 October 2014 in Ediburgh, Scotland, UK.

The ISTT is attending the 64th AALAS National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA

Monday, October 28th, 2013
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ISTT booth: The ISTT is attending the 64th AALAS National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA

ISTT booth: The ISTT is attending the 64th AALAS National Meeting in Baltimore, MD, USA

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is pleased to attend, once again, the annual (64th) AALAS National Meeting, being held this time in Baltimore, MD, USA, on October 27-31, 2013.  The ISTT booth has been organized by Melissa Larson (University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA) ISTT member and official representative of the ISTT before AALAS. The ISTT is proud to be an AALAS Affiliate Organizations since 2009, and, since then, our Society has been attending and supporting all AALAS annual meetings organized. ISTT members Jan Parker-Thornburg (MDACC, Houston, TX, USA) and Aimee Stablewski (Roswell Park Res. Center, Buffalo, NY, USA) are helping Melissa to organize and run this Society’s booth.

If you are attending the AALAS meeting in Baltimore, please come by to visit us and bring us your colleagues who might be interested in joining our Society. As an exceptional end of year 2013 promotion, any new member joining now will be provided immediate ISTT member benefits and granted 2014 ISTT membership. Information regarding ISTT activities, ISTT membership benefits and conditions and regarding our next (12th) Transgenic Technology Meeting (TT2014), to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, on October 6-8, 2014 will be provided at the ISTT booth. Thanks for visiting us at the 64th AALAS national meeting in Baltimore!

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)


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