Recently my lab published a paper that uses a mouse line from another lab.
Without going into too much detail since not everyone here is a Biologist, this other lab has a mouse with a reporter gene in it for hetero/euchromatin formation (DNA "openness"). This took them a long time (and a lot of work) to create. Basically, if the chromatin structure changes significantly in the mouse, this reporter gene is activated. Tens of thousands of these mice are then randomly mutated, and if a mutation happens to cause a big change in the chromatin openness, their reporter gene flashes up, and the mouse is given an ID and becomes it's own little mouse line to study why/how the DNA openness changed.
My lab was given a few individuals from one of these mutated mice lines - enough to start our own breeding colonies. However, there were some restrictions on what we could do - we can't reverse-engineer the reporter construct, we can't use the reporter construct ourselves for anything, and we obviously can't give the mice to any other labs. We can only examine the phenotype (and find the causative mutation).
Now our work on the phenotype has been published (quite highly in a major journal), and i'm interested to know how Science is supposed to validate such experiments?
I presume my lab still cannot give out the mice we used to generate our data to other labs. I presume that the lab we got our mice from is under no obligation to give out their mice either - and they may not want to since it would contain their reporter.
So I presume this means the results cannot be validated by anyone else without them going through the whole process of creating a new mutant mouse line first (and even then, it doesn't speak to the validity of the data on our mice).