A new issue of Tech3Rs, our newsletter for animal technicians, is now available to read online and download for display in your facility. This issue includes an interview with animal care staff at MRC Harwell who have used the Home Cage Analyser, an NC3Rs-funded technology for non-invasive continuous monitoring of mice, the latest research on zebrafish environmental enrichment and how 3Rs champions are improving the welfare of ageing mice.
During March we are celebrating Animal Tech Month by recognising the contributions of animal care staff to the 3Rs, including through the difficult circumstances of the past year. We are posting throughout the month on our LinkedIn page, giving you the opportunity to share your stories, acknowledge the achievements of your colleagues and connect with others in the field.
10 years of CRACK IT webinar: Virtual laboratories for non-animal disease research and toxicity testing
Tuesday 20 April, 2-3pm (BST)
This webinar will showcase how the in silico platform developed through the VIDR Challenge is delivering 3Rs benefits in leishmaniasis research and other disease areas, as well as toxicology. Professor Jon Timmis will share how CRACK IT supported the development and commercialisation of the platform through the spin-out company Simomics, while Professor Jason Snape and Dr Stewart Owen will discuss how AstraZeneca collaborated with Simomics to adapt the technology for environmental toxicity testing.
10 years of CRACK IT webinar: Rodent behavioural monitoring... what have you been missing?
Wednesday 12 May, 2-3pm (BST)
This webinar will highlight how the Home Cage Analyser, developed through the Rodent Big Brother and Rodent Little Brother Challenges, is being applied across multiple disciplines and sectors to refine rodent behavioural monitoring. Speakers include Professor Douglas Armstrong, who will share how Actual Analytics developed and commercialised the Home Cage Analyser, and Dr Sonia Bains, who will explain why MRC Harwell posed the Rodent Little Brother Challenge and how they are using the technology within their mouse phenotyping programme.
Better data and improved mouse welfare with TaiNiTec
TaiNiTec’s ultra-lightweight wireless systems can monitor and transmit neural data for long periods of time with minimal behavioural interference, improving scientific validity and providing significant welfare benefits compared to traditional tethered devices. TAiNi devices enable previously un-recordable electrophysiology signals to be studied in detail and have been successfully deployed in a range of home cages and experimental arenas.
Key features of TaiNiTec devices
Wireless systems weigh as little as 1.5g, including power supply, reducing burden on the animal
Up to one week battery life, allowing for minimal interference
Wide bandwidth with sixteen or more recordable channels
We recently held a webinar as part of our 10 years of CRACK IT celebrations, featuring presentations by Professor Esther Rodriguez-Villegas, who led the development of the TaiNi device, and Dr Alfredo Gonzalez-Sulser, who has adopted it in his epilepsy treatment research. The recording is now available to watch online.
Rodent stereotactic surgery is used in many studies and applying best practice is important, not only for animal welfare, but also for good experimental outcomes. In this webinar Amanda Novak, Named Veterinary Surgeon for the University of Edinburgh, will cover current advice on good surgical technique and refinements to incorporate into rodent stereotactic surgery procedures.
This webinar will be most relevant to researchers who perform stereotactic or other forms of rodent surgery, but veterinarians and animal care staff who are involved in the post-operative care of rodents are also encouraged to attend.
Recording: Efficient management of genetically altered mouse colonies
This joint webinar from the NC3Rs and the Mary Lyon Centre (MRC Harwell), originally presented on Monday 1 March, explores how to address common challenges in the management of GA mouse colonies. The webinar demonstrates how applying best practice can help you produce well-controlled and reproducible research and get the most out of the minimum number of animals. It offers valuable tips for anyone who manages mouse colonies, provides training in breeding and colony management, or uses GA mice in their research.
Apply for this year’s AAALAC/IQ Consortium Global 3Rs Awards
The Global 3Rs Awards programme recognises significant 3Rs innovations by any researcher in academia or industry, presenting up to four awards of $5,000 each year. Applications are now open for this year’s competition – nominations should be based on a primary research paper published in the last three years that advances any of the 3Rs.
LASA Technical Forum: Cryopreservation and Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Genetically Altered Animals
Monday 19 to Thursday 22 April, 2-4.15pm (BST)
This interactive meeting presented by the LASA Animal Science (Transgenic) Section will provide opportunities for learning, building your professional network and sharing best practice with others in the field. While the meeting will focus particularly on mice, a range of other species will be highlighted, including rats, zebrafish, opossums and frogs.
Work with transgenic mice? Share your views on IVF success rate factors
The IVFmicro project aims to develop and optimise methods for Assisted Reproduction Technologies, improving their success rate in both animals and humans. To inform their work on non-surgical embryo transfer, previously funded by the EASE CRACK IT Challenge, they are seeking views on IVF success rate factors from researchers and technicians who generate transgenic mice.
The deadline to complete the survey is Monday 12 April.