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ANC Workshop: Tom Mayo and Douglas Armstrong, Chair: Maciej Pajak

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  • ANC Workshop Talk
When Dec 13, 2016
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where IF 4.31/4.33
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Tom Mayo

"DNA Methylation and Ageing: Methodological Challenges"

DNA methylation is an important mechanism for regulating gene expression in eukaryotes, and methylation levels in different tissues have been shown to accurately predict a person’s age in a model famously dubbed the ‘epigenetic clock’

There are a vast number of studies aimed at understanding differences in methylation between different conditions. Statistical methods have been developed to address these challenges, but in the case of ageing, methylation changes are often so subtle that these fail.

In this talk, I will give an overview of the challenges inherent in the data and how other studies have addressed this issue. I will then describe my attempts at tweaking a method to investigate methylation data in the blood, liver and colon in young and old mice.


Douglas Armstrong

"24/7 home cage monitoring of rodents - what can we learn without doing an experiment?"

Laboratory rats and mice live their lives in small social groups in specially designed homecages that maintains their welfare, minimises stress and infection while also streamlining their management. During experimental studies individual animal are removed from their peer group to be tested/analysed, which is both stressful to the animal and labour intensive to the researcher. What if we could monitor individual animals activity and behaviour but leave them in their social groups and within their regular homecages? This was the key concept of the NC3Rs Crack-It Rodent Big Brother Challenge set in 2011 that resulted in the development of a new product by an Informatics spin-out company Actual Analytics. I will present a summary of the development of the system which automatically captures a range of behaviours in socially housed animals 24/7. I will also review the findings obtained by two of the first users with rat studies at AstraZeneca and mouse studies at MRC Harwell.