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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Search Filters, a New Tool in the Search for Alternatives: Locating Mouse Strains as Disease Models


Mary W. Wood and Lynette A. Hart

By manipulating available databases and resources and making use of existing technology, a ew tool can be used in the alternatives search. The Clinical Queries search filter, available in PubMed, can locate precise information on published studies of specific mouse strains and disease processes. Though commonly used, mice are highly divergent in their strain characteristics. Monitoring previously published work by strain allows scientists to select appropriate strains as disease models, while avoiding inappropriate strains or repetition of earlier studies. The Jackson Laboratory provides detailed information on mouse strains of particular interest. At the University of California (UC), federal regulations imposed by the US Government are implemented at the nine campuses, requiring UC scientists to consider alternatives by performing literature searches. This blanket requirement can be perceived as an obstacle and result in searches that, though compliant with regulations, are not productive. By crafting user-friendly and relevant searching tools, the UC Center for Animal Alternatives (UCCAA) makes searching both less onerous and more productive, thereby increasing the chances that alternatives will be integrated into the protocol. Through the use of these new search filters, as well as stored searches, species-specific resources, and readily available websites, The UCCAA provides user-friendly access to current information: www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/animal_alternative