Animal Facilities and Research Aquarium

Animal Facilities

The mouse provides a valuable platform for investigations into many of the fundamental processes and mechanisms of mammalian physiology and metabolism, and is widely used as a model organism in developmental biology research. With the genome of the mouse now sequenced, they can now be modified for use in research into the analyses of gene functions and as models of human disease.

The animal facility operated by the RIKEN BDR provides the technology, equipment and staff to enable the humane, hygienic, efficient and economical handling of large numbers of small experimental mice. This 24,000 cage Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) facility has the capacity to handle and care for up to 100,000 mice. Cutting-edge technology, such as semi-automated cage cleaning, makes it possible to maintain high standards of hygiene and sterility, minimizing the risk of outbreaks of contagion among the mouse populations. The facility also provides services to generate transgenic and knockout mice to specifications requested by researchers. (For more information, please see the Laboratory for Genetic Engineering website).

The BDR also manages a facility for small non-human primates, including marmosets and Japanese macaques, used in the development of new methods for studies of pharmacodynamics and regenerative medicine.

Research Aquarium

The BDR research aquarium serves as home to a number of water-dwelling species used in research into development and regeneration, including the zebrafish and the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). These and other aquatic species are useful models for studies ranging from developmental genomics to classical embryology.

The aquarium includes temperature and humidity-controlled rooms geared to providing optimal climates for the handling and breeding of freshwater and marine species, and utilizes reverse osmotic technology to maintain consistent tank-water purity. In addition to the commonly used zebrafish and African clawed frog, the facility also houses specimens from more novel models used in evolutionary developmental research, such as the lamprey (Lampetra japonica), the hagfish (Eptatretus burger), and the soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis).