January’s issue of CSH Protocols is now available online, and it contains a set of protocols from Cathy Krull’s lab at the University of Michigan. The articles provide methods for electroporating your gene of interest into somites, neural crest cells and motor neurons. The accessibility of the chick embryo has long made it a standard model organism for developmental biology, and methods like these greatly enhance our abilities to tag and track cells, as well as to genetically manipulate the embryo. They’re even valuable for labs not working with avian systems, particularly mouse labs, because they offer the opportunity to get a quick and easy look at expression and potential effects of experimental constructs. Unlike making a transgenic mouse, an expensive and time-consuming process, working with chick eggs is inexpensive, and relatively rapid. Testing your mouse constructs in the chick embryo is a great way to fine tune the constructs themselves to ensure proper expression. It can also give insight into potential effects of construct expression, which can save valuable time once your transgenic mice are available, as you may already know where to start analyzing.