the primary objective of this issue [...] is to provide readers with a compendium of reviews that describe the methods, the limitations, and a few examples of the most common applications of small animal imaging to human disease.
The ILAR Journal is the quarterly, peer-reviewed publication of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR). The table of contents is very well garnished: Design and Setup of Animal Imaging Centers, Anesthesia, Rodent Cardiac Imaging, Imaging with Magnetic Resonance Microscopy, Small Animal PET Imaging, Multiphoton Microscopy. And this are only the first five papers, then we can find also Multiplexing with Multispectral Imaging, Brain Imaging, Noninvasive Bioluminescence Imaging and High-Resolution fMRI Maps. If you are wonder what are the relations with reporter genes, you need seriously to read such issue: to date reportergenes for fluorescence, bioluminescence and PET are well known, while synthethic and biological reporter genes for MRI are on the road of development. Putting one reporter gene in one mouse you obtain a reporter mouse. With molecular imaging, you can observe reporter gene expression noninvasively in vivo. The imaging modalities available for use with laboratory animals provide a means to explore the molecular mechanism of several diseases, minimize many of the limitations of static tissue-based techniques, and, most importantly, decrease the numbers of animals required. In fact, depending on the application, it is possible to reduce the number of animals required per study by as much as 80% to 90%. I think this is a concrete and viable scenario for Reducing, Replacing and Refining the use of animals in research.