Course on Managing Mouse Colonies: Best Practices, Genetics, Breeding and Welfare

Course on Managing Mouse Colonies: Best Practices, Genetics, Breeding and Welfare, June 13-16, 2011, WTCC, Hinxton, UK
Course on Managing Mouse Colonies: Best Practices, Genetics, Breeding and Welfare, June 13-16, 2011, WTCC, Hinxton, UK

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is happy to support the second edition of the Course on Managing Mouse Colonies: Best Practices, Genetics, Breeding and Welfare, organized as a collaboration between MRC Harwell, the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and aiming to introduce experienced technicians and scientific staff involved with the management of genetically-modified mouse colonies. The Course will be held at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK, on June 13-16, 2011, and is organized by James Bussell (WTSI), ISTT Member; Neil Dear (LIMM) and Sara Wells (MRC). Application deadline is April 1, 2011.

The course looks at historical and current best practice in the maintenance of genetically-modified mouse colonies for scientific research and the differing disciplines involved in production phenotyping and archiving. All of these are presented with particular attention to the 3Rs and animal welfare. Confirmed tutors attending this course include:

James Bussell, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Michael Cheeseman, Medical Research Council, Harwell, UK
Neil Dear, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, UK
Adrian Deeny, University College London, UK
Martin Fray, Medical Research Council, Harwell, UK
Ian Jackson, Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, UK
Sarah Johnson, Medical Research Council, NIMR, UK
Natasha Karp, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Raffaele Matteoni, European Mouse Mutant Archive DataBase, Italy
Karen Steel, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Sara Wells, Medical Research Council, Harwell, UK
Jacqui White, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Ben Woodman, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, UK

The Organizers of this 2nd Edition of the Course hope again to attract a very diverse group of participants from a Scientific, Veterinary and Animal Technology background. This in itself provided a great dynamic when discussing the various routines and concepts involved with genetically-modified mouse production, maintenance, utilisation and cryopreservation. Underpinning this are the good practices associated with animal welfare and the 3R’s.

Online books freely available from the ISTT web site

Online book freely available from the ISTT web site: Benavides & Guénet, 2003; Genetics Manual of Laboratory Rodents: Basic Principles and Applications
Online book freely available from the ISTT web site: Benavides & Guénet, 2003; Genetics Manual of Laboratory Rodents: Basic Principles and Applications

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is proud to announce a new section in its web site, devoted to the free dissemination of online books on subjects related to animal transgenesis. The first book that has been included, most generously provided by their authors, is the “Manual de Genética de Roedores de Laboratorio: Principios Básicos y Aplicaciones” [in Spanish] (Genetics Manual of Laboratory Rodents: Basic Principles and Applications), by Fernando Benavides and Jean-Louis Guénet, initially published by the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain, 2003) and sponsored by SECAL.

This manual was the first laboratory animal genetics book to be published in Spanish. Unfortunately, the book has gone out-of-print, all copies were rapidely sold, and, currently, it is no longer available nor the former Publisher will print it again. Therefore at the ISTT, with this new initiative now being launched, we have rescued it in the form of an online book for the benefit of the entire scientific community of professionals, researchers, veterinarians, technicians and students in Spanish-speaking countries (Spain, Central and South American countries,…) and the high numbers of colleagues speaking Spanish in the USA and elsewhere in the world interested in the field of rodent genetics.

Fernando Benavides and Jean-Louis Guénet (2010)
Fernando Benavides and Jean-Louis Guénet (2010)

Fernando Benavides, DVM, PhD and ISTT member, is Associate Professor and Director of Genetic Services at the Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Division of Basic Science Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX, USA. Jean-Louis Guénet, DVM, PhD is Emeritus Professor at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France, and a world authority in mouse genetics, with more than 300 scientific publications, books and chapters published on the subject.

In the near future, additional books will be hopefully added to this collection of online books freely available from the ISTT web site. If you know about other books that are no longer available, in any language, on a subject related to animal transgenesis and you own their rights or happen to know who owns their rights, please contact us to explore the possibility to include them in the new section on ONLINE BOOKS at the ISTT WEB SITE.

4th International Rabbit Biotechnology Meeting, 30th June-1st July 2011, Gödöllö, Hungary

4th International Rabbit Biotechnology Meeting, 30 June-1 July 2011, Godollo, Hungary
4th International Rabbit Biotechnology Meeting, 30 June-1 July 2011, Godollo, Hungary

The 4th International Rabbit Biotechnology Meeting will be held in Gödöllö, Hungary, on 30 June-1 July 2011, at the Agricultural Biotechnology Center (ABC). The Organizer of this conference is Prof. Zsuzsanna Bosze, ABC and ISTT Member. The mission of this biannual meeting is to give an overview of the most recent results on the field of rabbit biotechnology, including rabbit genomic, stem cell, models of human diseases and biotechnology methods confronting the different approaches developed independently in different academic and industrial laboratories in the world. The abstracts from selected oral presentations will be published in World Rabbit Science. The International Rabbit Biotechnology first meeting was organized by Jianglin Fan in Tsukuba, Japan (2005), the second was in Jouy-en-Josas, France, organized by Louis-Marie Houdebine (2007) and the 3th in Xi’an, PR China, organized by Li Enqi (2009).

As posted in the 4th International Rabbit Biotechnology Meeting web site, “A specific biotechnology of the rabbit is emerging. The scientific community which uses rabbits as experimental animals or as tool to produce biotech products as well as those involved in breeding are more and more invited to focus their effort on this species. The rabbit is phylogenetically closer to primates than are rodents and is large enough to permit non-lethal monitoring of physiological changes. The rabbit as a model in early development biology is more representative for most mammalian embryos than mouse, that has very specific properties at thoses stages. For example, gastrulation – one of the most important developmental switchpoints for pre- and postnatal development – of the rabbit blastocyst closely resembles that of the human. Novel findings in embryonic stem cell and induced pluripotent cell establishment are adapted to rabbit, along with the recent transgenic technologies opening up new horizons for researchers. The complete rabbit genome sequencing is about to be achieved. Classical uses of the rabbit include polyclonal antibody production, biomedical testing and teratogenicity testing of pharmaceutical compounds. Beyond that rabbit is the traditional model for the study of lipoproteins and atherosclerosis. The lipid metabolism of rabbit is similar to that of humans and a number of spontaneous and transgenic rabbit models have been studied. The arising obese rabbit model may become highly relevant for research on human insulin resistance, obesity and lipid metabolism abnormalities. Development of novel pharmacological therapies for cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, cardiac dysfunction and inborn arrhythmias are based on the relevant transgenic rabbit models. Transgenic rabbits have been found to be suitable bioreactors for the production of pharmaceutical proteins filling an important niche between the laboratory mouse and larger farm mammals.”

Shinya Yamanaka receives the 2010 Foundation BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards
BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards
Shinya Yamanaka
Shinya Yamanaka

The 4th Edition of the Foundation BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Awards in Biomedicine goes to Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka for “showing that it is possible to reprogram differentiated cells back into a state that is characteristic of pluripotent cells“, according to the communication prepared by the Jury of these Awards, in the press release published today, February 4, 2001, at the Foundation BBVA web site.

Shinya Yamanaka, Director of the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University (Japan), and professor in the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at the same institution, demonstrated in 2006, in a seminal paper published in the scientific journal Cell, that only four genes were required to induce the conversion of fibroblast into cells with properties of pluripotent stem cells, thus coining the concept of the “induced pluripotent stem cells“, or iPS cells. This is one of the most outstanding, innovative and original experiments ever reported in Biology, that triggered a true revolution in Cell and Developmental Biology, where many laboratories around the world were able to quickly reproduce and, in some cases, improve the initial protocol devised by Shinya Yamanaka in Japan. The discovery of the iPS cells, showing that the idea of reversing the fate of already specialized cells was indeed possible, is a breakthrough comparable to the first successful nuclear transfer and reprogramming experiment achieved in mammals, with the cloning of Dolly, the sheep, born in 1996 and reported one year later, in a milestone paper by Ian Wilmut and co-workers, published in Nature. Shinya Yamanaka explained that “From their work I learned that we should be able to convert somatic cells back into their embryonic state. That is what inspired me to start my project”.

The iPS cells, first envisaged by Yamanaka, have an immense potential for regenerative medicine and studies of disease and development. Most recent experiments, published earlier this week, show that the genomic methylation status of iPS cells is surprisingly different from that of pluripotent embryo stem (ES) cells (Lister et al. Nature 2011, February 2), and that this aberrant methylation pattern is maintained in those differentiated cell types derived from the iPS cells. Further experiments would be required to assess the relevance of these new findings regarding the potential applications in Biomedicine of iPS cells. However, the central contribution of Shinya Yamanaka and the beauty and simplicity of his pioneer experiments will remain for ever.

The Foundation BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Awards are associated with a 400.000 € (~545,000 USD) Prize. The 2010 Prize Jury in Biomedicine was chaired by Werner Arber, (Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1978, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland) and included, as remaining members: Robin Lovell-Badge (MRC National Institute for Medical Research, UK); Dario Alessi (College of Life Sciences, Dundee University, UK); Mariano Barbacid (Spanish National Cancer Research Center-CNIO); José Baselga (Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA); Angelika Schnieke, (Department of Animal Science, Technical University of Munich, Germany); and Bruce Whitelaw (The Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, UK). Both Robin Lovell-Badge and Bruce Whitelaw are members of the ISTT.

TT2011 Registration Awards

TT2011 Registration Awards for ISTT Members (Deadline: June 30, 2011)
TT2011 Registration Awards for ISTT Members (Deadline: June 30, 2011)

The International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) is most happy to announce that a minimum of six registration awards will be provided for ISTT Members willing to attend the 10th Transgenic Technology (TT2011) meeting, which will be held at the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, at St Pete Beach, Florida, USA, on October 24-26, 2011. Instructions and the accompanying documents that must be submitted by the applicants are described in full details in the ISTT Registration Awards page. Please, send your application for TT2011 Registration Awards to istt@transtechsociety.org by June 30, 2011. The selected registration awards will be communicated by July 16, 2011.