Monday, March 5, 2018

Q 28. What do you know about humanized mice?

from the institute of  molecular and cell biology
These super-expensive mice are increasingly arriving in our facilities as the latest tool in combating human cancers and infectious and autoimmune diseases.  Here are some questions relating to key facts and concepts you might need to know.

1.  What was the key additional mutation that allowed immunodeficient mice to be engrafted with components of the human immune system and tissues?

2. What are the 3 immunodeficient mouse strains that together with this mutation are used as models to engraft human tissues. (gene names and symbols please!)

3.  Which model (common name) is engrafted by injection of peripheral blood leukocytes?  What are 2  disadvantages of this model?

4. Which model (common name) is engrafted by IV or intrafemoral injection of human SCID-repopulating cells?  What is the advantage of this model over the previous one?

5. Which model (common name) uses human fetal tissues and what is the deficiency of this model?

6. Humanized mice are frequently used to study HIV.  Which mouse model is most commonly used and why?

7. Epstein Barr virus is studied using humanized mice. EBV affects 90% of humans worldwide. Which cells are transformed by EBV and which immune cell is normally responsible for eliminating these transformed cells? List immunological and autoimmune disorders that can result from EBV if these cells are not removed.

8. Most humanized mouse models have used human cell lines for engraftment, however unlike in patients, cell lines and the environment they grow in is homogenous. In the next step forward, patient cancer cells are being grown in humanized mice. Which of model (of the 3 types above) is required for growth of human patient cancer cells? What is the common name of this model?

9. List 3 (or more) remaining problems to be solved in development of future humanized mouse models.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Q27: Spontaneous Diseases in Common Mouse Strains

image from clipartbarn
Why should you care?  Well, it's not unheard of for our investigators to suspect that pathology or behavior they discover is related to a mutation,  when in fact it's a feature of the background strain. 

So here is an eclectic collection of questions relating to our common inbred strains...

1. Which strain has long been used as a source of ES cells for targeted mutations and why is this a problem?

2. List 2 strains that have mutations in the dysferlin gene and what condition (s) results?

3. Which strain is known for has a high incidence of thymic T cell lymphoma and what is the genetic reason?  Which immunodeficient strain is also has a high incidence of T cell lymphoma?  Which strain has a high incidence of B cell lymphomas?

4. Which strain has a high incidence of cardiac abnormalities including epicardial mineralization and cardiomyopathy and is widely used for infectious disease studies?

5. Which 2 strains with high and low mammary tumor incidence (respectively) were developed from an A albino female to a DBA male?

6. Which strain historically had a very high incidence of mammary adenocarcinomas due to MMTV?

7. Which strain is known for its resistance to many infectious agents but susceptibility to mouse adenovirus 1 and encephalomyelitis?

8. Which induced disease  model is the DBA mouse known for and what is the human condition?

9. List 2 strains susceptible to seizures

10. List 2 strains that exhibit acallosity


Monday, January 22, 2018

Q 26: Viral Zoonosis Basics...

What do you know about viral zoonoses...? (these should not be too hard!)

Considering the following:

B Virus
Hepatitis A
Newcastle Dis

Which disease(s) ?
1. Is/are generally lethal in new world primates
2. Are transmittable by aerosol
3. Bats are a/the reservoir host
4. Cause tumors
5. Squirrels are significant reservoirs
6. smallpox vaccine is protective
7. The reservoir host is probably NOT the african green monkey
8. Transmitted by Aedes mosquitos
9. Rodents are the reservoir hosts
10. Have been transmitted by corneal transplants


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Q 25: Those OTHER parasites (of rats)

Apologies for taking an extended holiday break, but my excuse is hopefully that everyone else was taking a break too 😆

This  month's questions are rats, yet again.  Many of us are now seeing lots of parasites we haven't seen before, courtesy of PCR testing, and if you're like me, you had to go look some of them up!
So here are some questions regarding those 'other' parasites...
Here's the list:  (if it looks like the index from the rat blue book, there's a reason for that!)

1. Trypanosoma lewisi
2. Hepatozoon muris
3. Toxoplasma gondii
4. Hammondia hammondi
5. Sarcocystis spp.
6. Frenkelia spp.
7. Trichinella spiralis
8. Calodium hepaticum
9. Trichosomoides crassicauda
10. Gongylonema hepaticum
11. Taenia taeniaeformis
12. Giardia muris
13. Spironucleus muris
14. Hexamastix muris
15. Chilomastix bettencourti
16. Tritrichomonas muris
17. Pentatrichomonas hominis
18. Eimeria nieschulzi
19. Entamoeba muris
20. Balantidium coli.

And here are the questions:

A. List those that are likely to be seen in laboratory rats
B. List those that have clinical or pathological consequences
C. List those that are rat host-specific
D. List those that can infect humans
E. List those where reported response to infection may affect research.
F (bonus - what is the picture showing?)

Happy hunting the answers!

Answers are posted here

Monday, December 11, 2017

Q24: Random Rat Questions

This week just a smattering of "things you should know" about rats...

1. At what light intensity (lux) is there a probability of phototoxic retinopathy?
2. Which 2 glands are responsible for tear production?
3. What is the normal hearing range of rats?  How does that compare to humans?
4. Also which kinds of rat communication calls happen in the ultrasonic range?
5. Which teeth do rats NOT have (ie of incisors, canines, premolars, molars)?
6. Which gland in the head is a "mixed" gland?
7. We all know rats have no gall bladder, but where does the common bile duct enter the GI tract?
8. How many chromosomes does a rat have?
9. Rat pups can absorb maternal antibodies until a) 7d,  b) 15d  c) 20-21d, d) birth
10. Rats do not begin breeding until  a) 9-13 weeks b) 4-6 weeks c)7-10 weeks d) 11-15 weeks
11. List rat models for:

  • Obesity
  • Spontaneous Type I diabetes mellitus
  • Type II diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension
  • Prostate cancer
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Stroke

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Q 23: Regulations, regulations, so much to learn!

Personally I'd rather go to the dentist than learn regulatory trivia, but I know it's important, so this week I'm going to start with some basics:

1.  In the US, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was passed in 1966.   What were the 3 purposes of the Act?
(bonus -what was the name of the dog whose emaciated picture in Life Magazine ignited a storm of public opinion?)

2.  The Public Health Service Act pre-dated the AWA. When was it first passed?  What was its purpose?

3. Which government agency is responsible for enforcement of the AWA? 
4. Which species are specifically excluded from the AWA?

5.  True or false: The AWA regulates...

  • Importation of dogs and cats for resale purposes
  • Animals used for exhibition
  • Animals sold for pets
  • Animals transported commercially
  • Animals used in research
  • Cock- and bull-fighting
  • Living conditions for regulated animals
  • Swine and cattle used for biomedical research
  • Birds bred for research
  • Dealers
  • Animal Care Committees
  • Psychological well being
6.  True or false: The AWA is enforcible through criminal penalties
7. What are the 3 R's, when were they first described, by who, and in what document?
8. What is the purpose of Policy 12?
9. What is the Act that allows enforcement of the PHS Policy?
10. How do the requirements for IACUC composition differ between the AWA and the PHS policy
11. Give examples of research animals that are NOT covered by either the AWA or the PHS policy

Monday, October 30, 2017

Q21: Nonhuman primate taxonomy/anatomy I: basics

This one is mostly new world primates....

1.  Depending on how you classify them, nonhuman primates can be divided into suborders  based on retention of primitive characteristics (prosimians meaning "before primates" and anthropoids or "resembling humans") or based on shared derived characteristics (Strepsirrhines - from the Greek meaning "twisted nose"  and Haplorrhines - meaning "simple nose").  Strepsirrhines have wet noses and haplorrhines have dry noses. 

  • List the superfamilies included in the suborders prosimii, and anthropoidea.  
  • Which suborder is classified either with the less- or more- advanced primates depending on which classification criteria are used?

2. Anthropoidea are generally divided into platyrrhines (new world monkeys) and catarrhines (old world monkeys).  Assign the following characteristics to prosimians, tarsiers,  platyrrhines, or catarrhines:
a. May have prehensile tail
b. cheek pouches
c. ischial callosities
d. "toilet claw"
e. largely nocturnal
f. Fissured nose
g. fused mandible
h. Hindlimbs longer than forelimbs
i. Can be bipedal
j. All arboreal
k. All carnivorous
l. Stereoscopic color vision
m. Flat nose with flared nares
n. Require vitamin D3

3. Platyrrhines can be divided into families Callitrichidae and Cebidae.
a. Which family has many CITES listed genera?
b. What does CITES stand for?  What specifically does it place controls on?
c. What is the unique feature of the placenta in Callitrichidae?  What does this often result in?
d. Which genus is often used for malaria research?  Why?
e.  Which genus has naturally occurring atherosclerosis?
f. Which genus was sent into space?
f. Squirrel monkeys are often classified according to whether the hair pattern on their face resembles a gothic arch or a roman arch.  Which species fall into each, and which of these is used in malaria research?
g. which genus has a semi-prehensile tail?  Which genera have true prehensile tails?  What is the difference between prehensile and pseudo-prehensile tails anyway?
h. What is the regulatory impact of brachiation?
i. Which genus is used to study gout?
j. What is special about the hallux in callitrichidae?  And what is a hallux?
k. Which genus gets Vitamin E responsive hemolytic anemia?
Many thanks to our residents and most recently to Diane for compiling this information!