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December 10, 2014 Safer Gene Therapy for Immuno-Oncology
An important advance in developing safer gene therapies for immune-mediated cancer treatments has been reported in Cancer Research (Gschweng et al. 2014).  The safety of gene delivery by viral vectors into human hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is a legitimate concern based on adverse events observed in early clinical trials. Gschweng et al. have addresses this issue by creating a vector engineered to co-deliver a suicide gene along with a therapeutic anti-tumor T cell receptor (TCR).
December 9, 2014 Essential airway stem cells for lung generation
An exciting article in Nature reveals a mechanism by which a population of distal airway stem cells contributes to lung regeneration following acute viral infection and lung injury.  The studies highlight the potential for stem-cell based therapeutic strategies for treating patients with acute and chronic lung disease.
November 24, 2014 In Vivo Optogenetic Modulation of Cerebellar Networks
A recent article in PLoS One demonstrates a new device to precisely control and simultaneously record from specific neuronal circuits and cell-types in vivo using optogenetic tools. 
November 24, 2014 Replacement of Embryo-derived Cardiac Macrophages with Age May Affect Heart Tissue Homeostasis
A recent study (Molawi et al., 2014) describes how resident, embryo-derived macrophages in the heart slowly lose their capacity for self-renewal, and are replaced gradually by less proliferative, monocyte-derived macrophages.   This transition is associated with decreased capacity to repair cardiac tissue, and might explain the increased prevalence of cardiac disease as we age.
November 17, 2014 Reduced prices on JAX® Mice strains—Special J offers
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November 10, 2014 Tumor-Stromal Cell Turnover in PDX Mice
Stromal cells found within epithelial tumors can have a significant impact on the growth, vascularization, invasiveness, and metastatic potential of the cancer.  These features make stromal cell populations potential therapeutic targets.  A new publication in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Maykel et al., 2014) demonstrates the importance of immunodeficient host mouse selection for efficient propagation of primary human tumors referred to as patient derived xenografts (PDX), maintenance of tumor microenvironment, and in establishing a platform for in vivo therapy testing.
October 28, 2014 Novel Inhibitor Targets Vascular and Cognitive Defects in AD Mice
A new study in Journal of Experimental Medicine (Ahn et al. 2014) describes a novel molecule that targets Aβ-fibrinogen interactions in the 5XFAD mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.  The novel inhibitor, RU-505, demonstrates efficacy in improving cerebrovascular and cognitive deficits in this model.
October 28, 2014 Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for November/December 2014
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October 26, 2014 Intestinal cell modifications aid gut microbiota during infection, helps host
A recent article in Nature reveals an exciting mechanism by which a host can select beneficial micro-biota to improve its own fitness during systemic infection.  The studies provide novel insights into host-gut microbiota mutualistic relationships.
October 9, 2014 Cas9 Knock-in Mice for Efficient Genome Editing In Vivo and Ex Vivo
Two novel Cas9-expressing mouse models are described in a recent Cell publication from the laboratory of Dr. Feng Zhang at MIT.  The Cre-dependent LSL-Cas9 (024857) and constitutive Cas9 (024858) mice offer numerous and exciting possibilities for genome editing in vivo and ex vivo.
October 9, 2014 Complete Life Cycle of Malaria Parasite in Humanized DRAG Mice
A very import new advance towards the development of Malaria therapy has been reported in Malaria Journal (Wijayalath et al., 2014).  The work presented by Wijayalath et al. demonstrates, for the first time, a mouse model that enables all components of the malaria parasite life cycle. This new model supports human immune functions that will allow a greater understanding of the immunobiology of malaria, which in turn may allow for the development of new treatment strategies.
September 30, 2014 Humanized Mice for Tumor Antibody Production
An exciting publication in the journal mAbs (Wege et al. 2014) describes a new method for making human B cell-derived antibodies specific for novel antigens present on human cancer cells.  These researchers accomplished this in vivo by co-injecting human hematopoietic stem cells and human breast cancer cells into immunodeficient NSG mice.  The mice developed a human immune system, including antibodies in serum that were specific for antigens on the engrafted tumor cells.
September 30, 2014  Potential New Therapeutic Target for Treating Down Syndrome
A new study in PLoS One (Garcia-Cerro, S. et al. 2014) identifies a potential therapeutic target to ameliorate learning disabilities in Down syndrome (DS).  Normalization of Dyrk1a (dual-specificity tyrosine-(Y)-phosphorylation regulated kinase 1A) gene dosage in B6EiCSN.BLiA-TS(1716)65Dn/J (Ts65Dn, 005252)rescues many, but not all, of the cognitive and neuromorphological phenotypes observed in trisomic (TS) mice.  Drug or genetic targeting of Dyrk1a, therefore, may be a novel therapeutic target to improve memory and learning for DS patients. 
September 16, 2014 Targeting Endothelin and Complement Pathways is Effective in Preventing Glaucoma in Mice
A recent article in Neurobiology of Disease revealed an exciting and robust therapeutic strategy to prevent glaucoma development in mice using combinatorial inhibition of both the endothelin system and the classical complement cascade. Their studies offer great potential to transform the treatment of glaucoma.
September 16, 2014 Inhibition of Obesity by Manipulation of Gut Microbiota
A new study in Journal of Clinical Investigation (Chen, et al. 2014) describes genetic engineering and therapeutic delivery of gut bacteria, which provide long-lasting inhibition of obesity and improved insulin response in both induced and polygenic mouse models of obesity.
September 3, 2014 Validated Therapeutic Target for ALS
A new publication in Science Translational Medicine (de Boer, A. S. et al. 2014) uncovers and validates a new mechanism of disease in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease). These researchers show that microglia from ALS mice (B6SJL-Tg(SOD1*G93A)1Gur/J 002726) are toxic to normal human motor neurons in vitro. The researchers also found that blockage of signaling through the prostaglandin D receptor (Ptgdr, or DP1) could restore motor neuron survival and extend lifespan.  These findings suggest inhibiting the DPI receptor could be a viable therapeutic strategy in the future. 
September 3, 2014 MR Imaging for Monitoring Therapeutic Response in Live Mice
A new study in NeuroReport (Kim et al. 2014) describes a new non-invasive imaging technology for detection of amyloid plaques and monitoring of responses to drug treatments in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.
August 20, 2014 Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for September/October 2014
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August 19, 2014 Transgenic Parasites to Dissect Host-Pathogen Interactions During Toxoplasmosis
A new report in Infection and Immunity (Christian et al.  2014) describes a powerful new T. gondii cre-lox based fluorescent reporter system for tracking host-pathogen cell interactions which can provide new insights into how host cells respond in vivo to toxoplasmosis infection.
August 19, 2014 Transparent Mice for Connectome Phenotyping
A highly innovative new technique has been published in Cell (Yang et al. 2014) that renders whole organs, and even an entire mouse, optically transparent. This amazing new development allows creation of enhanced three dimensional imaging of fluorescently labeled cells within multiple organs.  Yang et al. demonstrated imaging from cells expressing fluorescent transgenes as well as labeling by viral transduction, small molecules, mRNA probes, and antibodies. Using this approach, researchers will be able to build a “connectome” to understand the structural relationships between cell populations in both normal and pathological conditions.
August 4, 2014 Inhibition of Bromodomain Proteins for Human Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
A recent article in Clinical Cancer Research revealed a broad anti-tumor effect of the small molecule JQ1, an inhibitor of BET family of bromodomain proteins (including Myc), on human DLBCL cell lines or DLBCL tumor-engrafted mice, providing novel potential therapeutic strategies for therapy-resistant or recurrent human DLBCL.
July 23, 2014 Enhancer Hijacking in Medulloblastoma
New research published in Nature (Northcott et al. 2014) describes previously unreported mechanisms of activation of oncogenes leading to medulloblastoma. Using a combination of genomic and RNA sequencing data, the authors identified chromosomal structural variants (SV) that led to changes in proximity of oncogenes, GFI1 and GFI1B,  to enhancer elements that ultimately up-regulated gene expression. Transduction of mouse neuronal stem cells with GFI1 or GFI1B in combination with Myc stimulated development of tumors in orthotopically transplanted NSG host mice, establishing a new mouse platform for medulloblastomas. The new mechanisms described in this research may help to provide new insight into the development of other heterogeneous cancers and provide new targets for molecular therapy.
July 9, 2014 Induction of Autoimmunity in Humanized NSG Mice
A new publication in the Journal of Immunology (Vudattu, N. et al. 2014) provides evidence that treatment of “humanized” NSG mice with ipilimumab (CTLA-4 Ig) can disrupt immune tolerance and initiate features of autoimmune disease, making this the first small animal model of human specific autoimmunity. This research establishes humanized NSG mice as a new therapeutic platform to study pathogenesis of human autoimmunity and develop new therapeutic interventions with greater potential to translate to human patients suffering from a wide range of autoimmune diseases (ex. Type 1 diabetes, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.).
July 8, 2014 One-Step Generation of Genetically Engineered Mice by CRISPR/Cas Systems
Two exciting articles in Cell revealed how the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas system can be used to generate multiple gene mutations, reporter alleles and conditional alleles in mice in one step. The power of this system will undoubtedly transform genetic and biological research and facilitate the development of novel molecular therapeutics for complex human diseases.
June 25, 2014 Desktop Wallpaper Calendars for July/August 2014
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