PyRAT Animal Facility Software

The Software

PyRAT (Python-based Relational Animal Tracking) is a web-based lab animal colony management software, which enables comprehensive and transparent handling of animal facility data. Since it is web-based, this data is easily and securely accessible from anywhere with Internet or intranet capabilities, offering users convenient and time-saving off-site access. PyRAT's many features aim at reducing and simplifying the overall administrative workload of the facility manager.

Main Benefits of Using PyRAT

PyRAT provides simplification and automation of work processes, which increases efficiency, reduces costs, and improves data reliability. All relevant data is stored in a central database and is accessed via an Internet or intranet connection, providing real-time information anytime, anywhere. Process efficiency is greatly improved through automation of standard procedures and administration. Automatic notification of events results in better responsiveness to potentially critical issues.

PyRAT Transgenic Edition

For those whose work involves the creation of transgenic animals, we offer PyRAT Transgenic. This software has all of the features of PyRAT but with added functionality for transgenic facilities. It tracks the acquisition, cryogenic storage, and microinjection of embryos, as well as their transfer to foster mothers. The donor and foster animals come directly from PyRAT, and the transferred embryos later become pups in the system. This allows the entire life of a transgenic animal to be tracked, from egg to adulthood, all in one place.

Some PyRAT Transgenic features include:
- A cryopreservation database with a detailed representation of tanks
- Complete embryo cell tracking system, from isolation and preservation, to thawing, transfer, and transgenic offspring
- Colony statistics that enable line and stock management at a glance
- User-configurable views (embryos, animals, transfers) to support your workflows

PyRAT's Main Features

Breeding Management

This feature tracks all breeding events as well as the related pups (a separate pup list is offered in addition to the animal lists). Special cage layout is supported for large breeding cages.


PyRAT enables line/strain management and supports animal genotyping.

Print Genotyping Stickers

Print labels for Eppendorf tubes directly in PyRAT.

Authorization Tracking

This feature helps users maintain governmental compliance.

History Tracking

PyRAT tracks an animal from birth and maintains a detailed record of all of its related events. From breeding and birth to sacrificing of the animal, all steps in an animal's life are documented. A user and time stamp are automatically associated with each event, avoiding confusion regarding who did what to which animal. This in turn aids in maintaining potential documentation requirements within the facility.

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Selected Customers and References

PyRAT is currently in use at over 60 institutions, on 3 continents, and in 14 different countries. Our clients range from small labs to large research facilities. References include:

  • École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Lausanne, Switzerland
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Heidelberg, Germany
  • Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne and the University Medical Center of Lausanne (CHUV). Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva. Geneva, Switzerland
  • Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM). Paris, France
  • Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. Dresden, Germany
  • Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology. Berlin, Germany
  • Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine. Göttingen, Germany
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU). Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  • Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (UKER). Erlangen, Germany
  • Max-Delbrueck-Center for Molecular Medicine. Berlin, Germany

I have no clue how we could ever get all our work done in time without PyRAT. It makes data handling so much easier.

Jussi Helppi, Animal Facility Manager, MPI-CBG, Dresden, Germany

PyRAT's Technical Requirements

PyRAT will run on any Linux or Unix based server that can support the Python scripting language and the MySQL database software. We recommend an Intel or AMD based Ubuntu server with a speed greater than 2GHz and with at least 4 GB of RAM. Larger sites (>10000 live animals) may require a more powerful server.

On the client side, PyRAT can be accessed by any device (laptop, mobile, tablet, etc.) with one of the following browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or IE11.


Scionics offers several purchase options based on the needs of a facility. We offer full license purchases as well as hosted solutions for those facilities supporting a limited number of animals. Additionally, we offer service and support packages which include biannual software updates.
Please contact our product management team to discuss which option best suits your organization and to request detailed pricing information.

Demo Version

Scionics offers access to an obligation free demo/test version of PyRAT, allowing potential users to experience the software firsthand.
For log-in information, along with general enquiries, contact us at products[at]
or by phone at +49 351 202 707 00.

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