In the age of industries continuously creating and remodeling chemicals, having a reliable way to test their toxicity is vital. At the same time, across all areas of research, there is the desire to shift away from traditional animal models. In this article we outline the New Approach Methods (NAMs) and some of the steps being taken to implement them.
The Undiagnosed Diseases Network UND is a nationwide network that is working to understand and diagnose rare and undiagnosed human diseases. The UND coordinates between research and clinical experts, using the latest genetic and genomic technologies to create a more personalized medicine model.
COVID-19 has broadly impacted biomedical research, in this article we give an overview of its effect on labs and discuss how this can shine a light on the advantages of using alternative model organisms in research.
The Undiagnosed Diseases Network brings together experts across the USA, combining clinical care and research to find diagnoses for undiagnosed patients. Zebrafish are extremely valuable disease models in this research, as they reduce the cost and speed up the process of identifying therapeutic targets. In this blog we highlight one rare disease whose mechanism was successfully identified using zebrafish.
Using Humanization we can take advantage of the ancient biology between humans and other organisms to create stand-ins – patient avatars – for drug screening studies. In this blog, we will focus on models of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM), as these genetic conditions can lead to hypersensitivity to the metabolite. Since stressor condition hypersensitivity can be used to detect favorable drug effects, IEM model systems are ideal tools for phenotypic screens to find molecules that alleviate the metabolic stress occurring from the deficiency. We discuss the model organisms used in hypersensitivity screens, and why they are advantageous to drug discovery. Ultimately, showcasing this approach’s potential to be widely generalized to many genetic disorders.
A common saying in science is that, “good science and good animal welfare go hand in hand.” In this article we provide an overview of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement: guiding principles for the humane use of animals in research), look specifically at the UK’s well-documented implementation of them, and discuss how new techniques and technologies can continue to improve animal welfare.
Humanized animal models are becoming more widely used as new gene editing techniques become available and there is a push for a more personalized approach to medicine, but what exactly is humanization? In this article we discuss the history, the types of humanized models, and how they can be applied to your research.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are free radicals that have been found to extend lifespan at low levels, however, they are lethal at higher doses. So is the saying ‘what doesn’t kill you make you stronger’ true? Or should free radicals be avoided as much as possible? In this article we discuss the current paradoxical findings, and focus on genetic disorders such as Progeria which is characterized by rapid aging and elevated ROS levels.
New ‘humanized models’ have the potential to revolutionize the study of clinical diseases, creating models with higher validity than more traditional models. This in turn has the power to expedite getting results from the bench to the bedside. In this article we will discuss the current state of animal models and the future that humanized models make possible; as an example, we will specifically focus on the models of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, debilitating disease that accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases, however, it remains untreatable. In this blog, we provide an overview of many commonly used organisms for modeling AD, and compare their advantages and limitations.