19 May 2008

Standard operating procedures, and lack thereof

I was looking for some more information on housing systems for researchers, and came across this interesting article in ALN Magazine about standardizing procedures for aquatic animals. ALN is a magzine for animal research labs. I obviously knew such things existed and were big operations at other institutions, but hadn't really thought that there would be an industry magazine.

Joe Sillitti writes:

Given how important the aquatic models, such as zebrafish and frogs have become, and how much emphasis is being placed on the use of these models, it is a wonder how husbandry standards have not yet been set. In the aquatic research field, even basic principles such as water quality, feeding, and breeding have not been standardized.

I am as guilty of this as anyone. My strategy so far has really been to try to intervene in the crayfish tanks as little as possible, because the animals have been molting, feeding, and reproducing. I hope to start getting serious about this as I move from an ad hoc system of pet tanks to a more standardized series of research tanks in the near future. I'll try to share what I learn here.

Speaking of animal housing, Pharmacal looks like another supplier worth talking to in regards to developing aquatic housing for Marmorkrebs research colonies. They've got systems for Xenopus (pictured) and zebrafish. I don't like the name of their system, which they call PharmHouse™ Aquatic System. To me, the name manages to bring to mind the bad connotations of both big pharma and agribusiness. But I can live with the name if their systems work.

No comments: