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Newsletter: CR/drug treated aged murine tissues available, new offers and news

Calorie restricted and drug treated aged murine tissues available for collaborative investigations with Rich Miller of Glenn Center

The University of Michigan Glenn Center for Aging Research is accumulating tissues from male and female mice that have been treated with drugs known to extend lifespan, specifically Rapamycin, Acarbose, and 17-alpha-estradiol.

Tissues from control mice and from mice on a calorie-restricted diet are also available. With a few exceptions, tissues are taken from mice at age 12 or age 22 months. Some of these materials are already available, and others will enter the archive within the next year. Researchers interested in discussing collaborative research projects that involve work on these tissues can find out more here

Become a ShARM ambassador and earn free aged murine tissue samples

Would your colleagues be interested in purchasing aged and control murine tissues from a range of wild type mice including C57BL/6J and BALB/c?

Introduce 3 colleagues who purchase tissue and you will receive 5 aged and 5 young tissues free of charge.

To qualify, email your colleagues, with in copy and when they buy tissues we will contact you for you to choose your 10 free samples

Introducing Dr Mandy Peffers - ShARM's newest elected board member

ShARM welcomes Dr. Mandy Peffers as our newest member of the elected management board. Mika Banning spoke to her about her research and time with ShARM.

Mandy from the University of Liverpool originally studied animal science at the University of Leeds, she then went on to study veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College. After working as a vet intern at the University of Glasgow for two years, Mandy then spent ten years in industry before entering academia and undertaking her PhD in transcriptomic and proteomic signatures of cartilage in normal ageing and disease. This work led onto her current field of study which assesses the differential expression of small non coding RNAs in normal ageing and osteoarthritic articular cartilage.

Mandy first heard of ShARM at a meeting for members of The MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated research into Musculoskeletal Ageing ( where she met Adele Duran (facility coordinator) and Ilaria Bellantuono (principal investigator). Mandy was impressed with ShARM's aim to accelerate research and ethical approach to the use of mouse tissues, especially because of her background in animal care.

As Mandy required tissues for her own research and is keen to promote the ethical and efficient use of mice, she purchased stifle joints and serum from ShARM as an alternative to having additional mice. As a customer Mandy found the service to be "brilliant, very well updated, with good mouse husbandry and the regular information on offers and new mice tissue is extremely helpful". It was also useful to access both aged and young control tissues.

Having been a customer of ShARM Mandy has a few helpful tips; it's important to know exactly what you need and to think about future studies for example a validation study. Furthermore if the tissue is frozen or paraffin embedded you need to consider the types of experimental testing you will carry out and how suitable the tissues are for those techniques.

After being a member of the ShARM community for a while, Mandy has recently been elected to be a part of the management board, the team that decides the strategic direction for ShARM. She aims to make fellow researchers, especially those local to her in Liverpool, aware of what ShARM is and what it has to offer. Also, having a veterinary surgeon background and being a customer, she has a different perspective that she can bring to the ShARM organization.

You can read more about the other board members and their work here.

ShARM's website has a facelift and video!

MRC Harwell have led the charge to create a new look website that reflects ShARM's unique aim and needs of its visitors. The layout has been improved so navigation is based on visitor requirements meaning information is easier to locate. We have made a video which describes ShARM and shows how ShARM helped Dr James Brown with his research.

The ShARM team and Dr James Brown talking about ShARM

Tissues are easier to find

The improved database of tissues available for purchase now allows searches to be performed based on requirements and tissues to be ordered once a selection has been made. Work is being carried out so that more complex search terms can be undertaken such as ensuring aged and young controls were housed in the same animal institute.

Need help? Find information in the ShARM community pages

Within the ShARM community pages, you can now find welfare information including the top 10 welfare concerns as seen in MRC Harwell's ageing colony, instructional videos on techniques such as palpation and data on weight and survival curves in aged mice. If you can't find the information you need, you can ask our expert welfare group in the forum and get advice on welfare, planning of experiments or any other topic related to ageing research and the care of aged animals.

If you have any questions or feedback about the website, please email


Tom Kirkwood talks to the NC3Rs about the trouble with acquiring aged murine tissue and how ShARM is helping

Tom Kirkwood says the fundamental issue with the supply of mice for ageing research relates to the organisation of aged-rodent colonies. In order that researchers can gain immediate access to tissues from old animals, someone must have had the foresight to age them earlier.

Yet the design and successful operation of an aged-rodent colony is far from simple. The key issues are cost, quality, forward planning, efficiency and animal welfare. The issue of cost alone is itself daunting. To keep a mouse until it is two or more years old, which is when it begins to become interesting from the ageing perspective, is very expensive. Not only do the animal house charges need to be paid for each week of this time, but the costs escalate much faster than linearly at the higher ages, because the oldest mice are the survivors from an initial birth cohort. The minimum actual cost of a very old mouse (several hundred pounds) therefore reflects the total cost of keeping the birth cohort to advanced old age.

Read the full article here

20,000 Tissues now Available in the Biorepository
Available tissues are either flash frozen or formalin fixed and paraffin embedded. Tissues are priced at £35 for aged tissue and £30 for young controls (+ VAT + shipping costs) and are available for immediate purchase. Check the database for more details:

Tissues available

Live Ageing Colonies

We are anticipating the harvest of male, 22 month old, C57Bl/6J and C57Bl/6JBabr mice. If you would be interested in having any tissues not already available in the biorepository, please send your request to


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