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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science
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Tech3Rs newsletter for animal technicians

A newsletter for animal technicians interested in putting the 3Rs into practice in their facilities.

What is Tech3Rs?

Tech3Rs is our regular newsletter providing animal technicians with the latest news from the NC3Rs. Each issue features updates on recent advances in the 3Rs and highlights new resources, research and events that we think will be of interest to animal technicians. 

Subscribe to Tech3Rs

Electronic copies: Each issue of Tech3Rs is available online to download as a PDF or read in html.

If you would like to receive an email when the next issue of Tech3Rs is published, please email us at tech3Rs@nc3rs.org.uk with the subject line "Subscribe".

Hard copies: We are currently unable to send out hard copies of Tech3Rs. 

Translations (French, Italian and German)

Translations of the Tech3Rs newsletter are now available from issue 15 onward in the following languages:

We are grateful to the Swiss 3R Competence Centre (3RCC) and Charite 3R for their work to produce these translations, enabling us to increase the reach of these technician resources across Europe.

Translated editions are available shortly after the English version is published.

Latest edition: December 2023

Issue 18: December 2023

Including:

  • Our newly launched e-learning course on refined mouse handling.
  • Two Tech3Rs champions who share their work on promoting animal welfare through improvements in experimental procedures. 
  • Two research papers describing refinements for large animal species (pigs and sheep).
  • Updates from the NC3Rs including replacing sentinel animals with environmental health monitoring, summary sheets for refining rodent head fixation and fluid control and a survey for Named Information Officers (NIOs).
  • A questionnaire on taxmoxifen administration in mice.
  • A new community mailing list for those who use laboratory frogs or who are setting up xenopus facilites.

Read issue 18 in html.

Past editions: 2018-2023


Issue 17: May 2023

Including:

  • How gentle handling and proper habituation leads to low stress procedures for mice and rats.
  • Two Tech3Rs champions making refinements for zebrafish.
  • Webinar recordings on evaluating environmental enrichment and microsampling.
  • Feature on the new-look macaque website.

Read issue 17 in html.


Issue 16: December 2022

Including:

  • Guidance on refining high-yield mouse behavioural studies.
  • Tech Journeys: Selina Ballantyne, Licence Manager at the University of Cambridge shares what she has gained from her different roles. 
  • 3Rs champions: Showcasing a unit's work on refining rat care.
  • Upcoming events: IAT Congress 2023, including the NC3Rs workshop on environmental enrichment and a webinar recording on a low dead space needle with improved animal welfare developed during an NC3Rs CRACK IT Challenge.

Read issue 16 in html.


Issue 15: July 2022

Including:

  • The results of our 2022 reader survey.
  • Refinements for laboratory birds.
  • 3Rs champions: refining rabbit handling and environmental enrichment for zebrafish.
  • Upcoming events, including an RSPCA meeting on refining severe disease models and procedures, the LASSA/UFAW joint meeting on refining the peri-operative period, a webinar on microsampling and our biennial Primate Welfare Meeting.

Issue 14: March 2022

Including:

  • Zebrafish skin swabbing.
  • 3Rs champions: refined mouse transport and using environment monitoring for health surveillance.
  • Spotlight on the new NC3Rs website and our latest resources.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs and beyond: non-aversive mouse handling, e-learning modules and non-human primate welfare assessment.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: skin preparation before surgery and perioperative support for mice and rats.
  • Upcoming events, including details of our workshop on managing aggression in laboratory animal species at this year's IAT Congress
  • Apply now for the AAALAC International Fellowship Award.

Issue 13: November 2021

Including:

  • Malocclusion in mice: spot the signs and take action.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: hypothermia in rodents following anaesthesia.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs website, including our new updated website coming soon.
  • Tech Journeys: Robin Labesse, Manager of the Biomedical Research Facility at the University of Surrey.
  • Upcoming events.
  • Happy birthday, 3 Minute 3Rs!

Issue 12: August 2021

Including:

  • Evaluating environmental enrichment.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: social housing during drug development.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs website and beyond.
  • 3Rs champions: environmental enrichment for macaques and habituating rats to transport boxes.
  • Upcoming virtual events.
  • Enter this year’s Andrew Blake Tribute Award.

Issue 11: May 2021

Including:

  • Aggression in laboratory animals.
  • Tech Journeys: Stephen Woodley shares his career journey from junior animal technician to Director of Biological Services at King’s College London.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: non-invasive methods for oral administration of substances to mice.
  • Spotlight on... NC3Rs webinars and upcoming virtual events.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs website.

Issue 10: February 2021

Including:

  • When the techs are away, the mice will play: how the Home Cage Analyser has helped animal care staff discover what their mice do when they are not looking.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: environmental enrichment for zebrafish.
  • 3Rs champions: improving the welfare of ageing mice.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs website.
  • Upcoming virtual events.

Issue 9: November 2020

Including:

  • Colony management best practice.
  • 3Rs champions: enrichment for pigs and tackling mouse aggression.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: non-aversive mouse handling.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs website.
  • Catch up on our latest collaborative content.

Issue 8: August 2020

Including:

  • Compassion fatigue: the cost of caring.
  • Lockdown champions.
  • Tech Journeys: a look at the career path of Linda Horan, Manager of the Biomedical Procedures Unit at the University of Strathclyde.
  • 3Rs papers of interest: rodent husbandry and procedures.
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs website.
  • Spotlight on resuming animal research.

Issue 7: May 2020

Including:

  • The NC3Rs and the 3Rs during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 3Rs champions: refinements in rodent oral dosing and zebrafish geotyping
  • 3Rs papers of interest: environmental enrichment
  • Tech Journeys: a look at the career path of John Waters, Chief Animal Technician and NACWO at the University of Liverpool
  • Help test a new device for embryo culture
  • Spotlight on new online resources for technicians

Issue 6: February 2020

Including:

  • More reasons to tunnel handle your mice
  • 3Rs champions refining mouse and rat care in their facilities
  • 3Rs papers of interest: mouse husbandry
  • Highlights from our news and blog, featuring two new posts by animal care staff at the universities of Glasgow and Dundee
  • Upcoming events
  • Spotlight on mouse husbandry

Issue 5: November 2019

Including:

  • Minimising mouse aggression
  • 3Rs papers of interest: environmental enrichment for pigs
  • Highlights from the 2019 NC3Rs/IAT Animal Technicians' Symposium
  • Spotlight on rat husbandry
  • NC3Rs-sponsored session at AST 2020 (24-26 March): "New Technologies Which Advance Refinement and Science"
  • PLUS a pull-out A3 poster on avoiding the reuse of needles

Issue 4: August 2019

Including:

  • Tickling rats for improved welfare
  • 3Rs papers of interest: grimace scales
  • 3Rs champions
  • Spotlight on laboratory animal anaesthesia
  • Secret Lives of Mice: our new citizen science project with MRC Harwell
  • PLUS a pull-out A3 poster on our Regional Programme Managers and how they can help you advance the 3Rs

Issue 3: May 2019

Including:

  • Refinement of rat telemetry studies
  • IAT Congress workshops: Fundamental concepts of experimental design
  • 3Rs champions
  • Spotlight on the evidence for refined mouse handling methods
  • NC3Rs/IAT Animal Technicians’ Symposium (2 October 2019)
  • PLUS our celebration of animal technicians for the IAT's Animal Technologist Month

Issue 2: February 2019

Including:

  • Shaping the future of amphibians in research
  • 3Rs champions
  • Recent papers on zebrafish welfare
  • Spotlight on guinea pig husbandry
  • Upcoming events
  • PLUS a pull-out A3 poster highlighting the resources available on our animal technicians' hub

Issue 1: October 2018

Including:

  • Mouse aggression study
  • Mouse handling made easy
  • CRACK IT Solutions
  • Highlights from the NC3Rs blog
  • 3Rs papers of interest

If you have any ideas for future issues or are working on a 3Rs approach you would like us to feature, please get in touch – we would love to hear from you! You can email us at tech3rs@nc3rs.org.uk.