Animal Husbandry in Microbiome Research: 2018 RIGOR & REPRODUCIBILITY SURVEY

The directors of the NIH funded Digestive Disease Research Core Centers (DDRCC) are conducting a survey to examine the perceptions of how animal husbandry and experimental practices influence microbiome data variability. DDRCC In March 2018, representatives from six of the eighteen DDRCC gathered for their annual Midwest Alliance meeting to discuss the latest findings in […]


Webinar Q&A — Nested Isolation

In a recent webinar, Dr. Alex Rodriguez-Palacios of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine discussed the use of a new, low-cost caging system for conducting microbiome research in rodents. The speaker shared their experience with the NesTiso system and discussed: How NesTiso makes gnotobiotic research simple and practical How to inexpensively verify the germ-free […]


Book Review: Animal Models for Microbiome Research

This book is the outcome of Workshop on Animal Models for Microbiome Research: Advancing Basic Science and Translational Research, hosted by the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR). Microbiome and germ-free researchers James Fox, Joseph Newsome, Wendy Garrett, Jeffrey Gordon and Vincent Young organized the workshop, with the following goals: Improve the depth and breadth […]


Humanizing the gut microbiota of mice: Opportunities and challenges

On August 8, 2018, Randi Lundberg, DVM, PhD published a review paper titled, Humanizing the gut microbiota of mice: Opportunities and challenges in the journal, Laboratory Animals. The author acknowledges the need for in vivo models to study the human microbiome’s interaction with a biologically relevant host. Mice are one of the most popular animal […]


4 Gut-Brain Axis Publications You May Have Missed

You may have missed these publications in the recent rush of microbiome and germ-free research news, but researchers are making interesting connections between the gut microbiome and neurological functioning. Four studies examined relationships between the gut microbiome and mood, behavior, disease risk, and development. Prenatal Stress, the Microbiome, and Development Scientists at Ohio State University’s […]


Top 10 Summer Science Reads

Heading off on vacation? Pack your beach bag with one of these 10 cutting-edge scientific books to keep your mind active this summer: Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong, by Paul A. Offit MD The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, by David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle […]


New Research on Maintaining Complex Gut Microbiota in Mouse Models

An increased interest in studies involving the microbiota requires animal models that appropriately mimic the extremely complex normal gut microbiota. Differences in rodent models can have a negative impact on a study’s reproducibility. On July 4, 2018, researchers at the University of Missouri, University of California, Davis, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill […]


On-Demand Webinar: Cyclical Bias and Variability in Microbiome Research

While developing a novel gnotobiotic housing strategy, researchers on the Nested Isolation project discovered a cyclical bias in the microbiome composition of animals in SPF cages. These changes in microbiota could influence phenotype and confound study endpoints, with implications for the reproducibility of some gnotobiotic research. How can you best identify and control for cyclical […]


A single genetic change in gut bacteria alters host metabolism

Scientists have found that deleting a single gene in a particular strain of gut bacteria causes changes in metabolism and reduced weight gain in mice, according to a study in the journal eLife. The research provides an important step towards understanding how the microbiome – the bacteria that live in our body – affects metabolism. […]


Data to Insights: Addressing Challenges of the Microbiome

A mysterious, complex and largely unknown universe exists within and on you. Every day, as you go about your routine, colossal quantities of microbes that form your unique microbiome are aiding or obstructing your functions. What role can this universe, the human microbiome, play in preventing disease and treating illness? This question has spurred unique […]


On-Demand Webinar – Nested Isolation: A Low-Cost Housing Strategy to Boost Microbiome Research Capabilities

Watch Taconic Biosciences’ new webinar, Nested Isolation: A Low-Cost Housing Strategy to Boost Microbiome Research Capabilities, to learn how Nested isolation works. Nested isolation – or NesTiso – is a technique that not only delivers the same results as a full gnotobiotic core, but with commonly accessible equipment and dramatically improved usability. Presented by Alexander […]


Introduction to Translational Microbiome Research Infographic

Download Taconic Biosciences’ new infographic, Translational Microbiome at a Glance, for valuable insights into the translational aspects of microbiome research. Intended for those just beginning their work, Translational Microbiome at a Glance covers critical introductory subjects such as: The six factors that shape the mouse microbiome — and study endpoints Disease associations that can impact […]


Limitations of Feces as Proxy for Gut Microbiota

A myriad of factors can influence the gut microbiota composition of laboratory rats and mice: diet, stress, circadian rhythm, vendor source, how they are housed, and more. Since different gut microbiota compositions can elicit different phenotypes under otherwise similar experimental conditions, understanding what shapes the rodent microbiome is becoming increasingly important for researchers. Husbandry-Induced Microbiome […]


Feed Your Gut Microbiota for Improved Health

Clostridium difficile is a significant source of infectious disease death in the United States, and C. difficile infection can be difficult to treat. Many researchers are focusing on new therapies for this major health problem, including clinical use of fecal microbiota transplantation. Dietary manipulations are another avenue of study. Researchers at the Stanford University School […]


A wide-ranging text synthesizes what we know (and don’t know) about the microbiome

Angela Douglas is an internationally recognized expert on symbiosis, with a number of foundational texts to her name (1, 2). In her new book, Fundamentals of Microbiome Science, Douglas synthetizes data from the burgeoning field of microbiome science in eight highly informative chapters. Topics include the origins of the animal microbiome, what we know about […]


Gordon receives British Royal Society’s highest honor

Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has received the 2018 Copley Medal from the Royal Society in Britain. He is being honored for his studies of human gut microbial communities, which have led to a fundamental shift in the way scientists understand the relationship between microbes, health and […]


Microbiomania: what we actually know about the human microbiome

Lance Armstrong may not have tried it, but poo doping is the new item of discussion on the performance enhancement menu. It turns out elite cyclists have a couple of critters in their gut that might boost performance. The discovery began three years ago, when Lauren Petersen, a researcher at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic […]


The Gut Microbiome: Markers of Human Health, Drug Efficacy and Xenobiotic Toxicity

The gut microbiome is believed to play an important role in human health in areas as diverse as brain function and the immune system. Exploring host-microbiome interactions will provide a mechanistic understanding and enable new insights in human diseases (i.e., their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment) and new perceptions of xenobiotic efficacy and/or toxicity. This workshop […]


Diets High in Salt May Increase Sensitivity to Autoimmune Disease through Microbiome Alteration

High salt diets have previously been shown to increase severity of certain types of induced autoimmune disease in mouse models via a signaling pathway, but the impact of these diets on the gut microbiome and intestinal inflammation have not been studied. Researchers at McMaster University recently investigated this question in a paper titled “High salt […]


New Resource for Gnotobiotics Research

Growth in Gnotobiotics Research in gnotobiotic rodents and other animal models is a growing field. The rise in microbiome studies is likely responsible for this increase. This gnotobiotic renaissance has fueled exponential growth in the number of institutions operating or making plans for gnotobiotic facilities and a demand for more education. Read more at: Taconic […]






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