The gathering of data for research involving an animal usually involves invasive procedures or death for the experimental animals. But critical data may now be collected through a nonlethal procedure, according to a new paper for the forthcoming issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
In the paper “Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorbtiometry (DXA) Can Accurately and Non-Destructively Measure the Body Composition of Small, Free-Living Rodents,” Kalb Stevenson and Dr. Ian G. van Tets reveal that they have discovered that they can take a wide range of measurements accurately with a portable DXA device. These body composition measurements in small rodents—water, protein, minerals, lean, and fat—are critical for dietary and environmental research. Previous measurements taken in the field, though not lethal, relied on length and body mass calculations, which are often inaccurate; methods used on laboratory animals are often lethal, precluding longitudinal research.
Differing methods used in fieldwork and in the laboratory limited scientific collaboration. Legal and/or ethical barriers against invasive research on endangered species further hampered crucial studies. “We needed a way to accurately and consistently measure the body condition of small mammals recaptured at different times of the year and could not do so using traditional means” said Dr. van Tets “so we decided to test whether DXA analysis could solve this problem”.
In their NSF-funded study of the northern redbacked vole (Clethrionomys rutilus), Stevenson and van Tets took a broad set of measurements accurately by employing DXA, using X-rays and mathematical formulas to noninvasively measure body content. Even transponder tags used to track the rodents in the wild did not interfere with their measurement of fat mass, lean mass, bone mineral content, bone mineral density, and fat-free mass.
“DXA worked better than we expected” Stevenson said “The measurements were consistent with those obtained via chemical (proximate) analysis and required nothing more than the machine itself, a laptop, and a power source. As subjects are not harmed, we can use this technology to track changes in individual animals over time and already have DXA-based projects underway studying the effects of season and/or hibernation on the body composition of animals as diverse as voles, ground squirrels, and black bears.”
Portable DXA devices provide the opportunity for quick measurements in the field and the ability to take measurements over time, allowing researchers to account for environmental factors. And, finally, field researchers and laboratory researchers will be able to collaborate using comparable data, allowing an increased degree of scientific rigor in comparative physiological studies.
Rudy Faust | EurekAlert!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
20.09.2017 | Life Sciences
20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy