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Open Access Transgenic Animal Technology: Alternatives in Genotyping and Phenotyping

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Over the past decade, breakthrough technologies in transgenic animal technology and functional genomics have played a central role in the explosive growth of rodent modeling and in scientific innovation. Various noninvasive alternatives to routine surgical biopsy have been described for genotypic and phenotypic analyses of laboratory animals. A number of options are available to refine or replace potentially painful and invasive procedures ranging from tissue biopsies (including tail biopsies and toe docking) to several blood sampling techniques. Unfortunately, adoption of many non- or minimally invasive alternatives has proven difficult on a number of fronts ranging from historical reservations to procedural expectations and actual experimental productivity. Similarly, a variety of phenotyping considerations have addressed throughput efficiencies and the health and well being of research animals. From an animal welfare perspective, marked increases in laboratory animal populations have accompanied rapid advancements spanning the life sciences. As described for rodent modeling, but with applications across many laboratory animal species, diverse procedural refinements are available that will readily aid in the analysis of whole animal models. Ultimately, non-invasive technologies and complementary refinements have bearing on the quality and reproducibility of data that are reported, as well as of critical importance to the well being and ethical management of animals at all developmental stages: from fetal existence, to the neonatal period, and on through adulthood.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Center for Aging and Developmental Biology, Box 645, Rochester NewYork 14642-8645

Publication date: 2003-04-01

More about this publication?
  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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