Laws mandating that research animals be offered for adoption after studies conclude are unnecessary, increase research costs, unduly stress animals and are a backdoor to a ban on animal research, says Michael Dingell, the National Association for Biomedical Research’s vice president of government affairs. “We’re just scratching the surface on the totality of the efforts against research committed by animal rights groups,” says Foundation for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey. “This should serve as a wake-up call for research institutions to get their heads out of the sand and become more involved in the public policy process,” Bailey says.
The Society for Neuroscience and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies are criticizing the Max Planck Society’s lack of support for neuroscientist Nikos Logothetis after animal-rights activists accused him of mistreating animals. “The two societies call on the Max Planck Society to rectify their unfair treatment of Professor Logothetis and to reinstate the planned scientific review canceled by the MPS in the wake of the Logothetis case,” the societies say.
After years of trial and error, a research team at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston bioengineered lungs from porcine cells and extra-protein scaffolding that grew a network of blood vessels and provided oxygen to the blood of pigs that received transplants. Further testing is needed, but the technique, described in Science Translational Medicine, could expand the human lung transplant supply.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging showed that young rhesus macaques with anxious reactions to stressful situations had elevated activity in two areas of the amygdala and were more likely than calmer monkeys to have had anxious ancestors, suggesting a genetic component to anxiety. The study, reported in The Journal of Neuroscience, “has provided us with clues about which systems to focus on in our studies of at-risk young children,” said senior author Ned Kalin.
Mice with early-stage liver infection and mice with late-stage blood infection from malaria that received a new RNA-based vaccine targeting the Plasmodium macrophage migration inhibitory factor protein had protection against reinfection, according to a study in Nature Communications. The findings may aid the development of immunizations for other parasitic diseases, such as filariasis and leishmaniasis, that produce similar proteins, researchers said.
A study comparing the genomes of foxes bred over 40 generations in Russia to be tame or aggressive revealed specific differences in 103 genetic regions and found that the tamest foxes had a variant of the SorCS1 gene that aggressive and conventionally bred foxes did not have. The gene is associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease in people, and the finding, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, might help scientists understand how the gene affects social behavior, study leader Anna Kukekova said.
Injections of autologous adipose tissue improved symptoms of osteoarthritis within one month in 78% of dogs participating in a clinical trial, and 88% showed improvement after six months, researchers reported in Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Researchers harvested the dogs’ adipose tissue using a minimally invasive, one-step procedure; injected it into the arthritic joint; and saw improvement with no major adverse effects.
The March of Dimes informed 37 grant recipients that their three-year grants were retroactively revoked effective June 30 owing to a budget shortfall, says the nonprofit’s chief scientific officer, Kelle Moley. Research funding will be restricted to studies on reducing preterm births, while individual grants for research on Zika virus, Down syndrome and other congenital disorders, as well as basic biological research, will be halted.
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The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) is the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit dedicated to improving human and animal health by promoting public understanding and support for biomedical research. Our mission is to educate people about the essential role animal research plays in the quest for medical advancements, treatments and cures for both people and animals.