FBR SmartBrief – February 13, 2019

FBR SmartBrief – February 13, 2019

Gene therapy tested in colorblind monkey could help humans | Pill inspired by tortoises reduces blood sugar levels in pigs | Avian influenza gain-of-function studies to commence

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February 13, 2019
FBR Smartbrief


Gene therapy tested in colorblind monkey could help humans

Gene therapy tested in colorblind monkey could help humans
An inactivated adenovirus carrying a gene therapy enabled a dichromat male squirrel monkey to see red-colored objects, and in addition to getting closer to a cure for red-green colorblindness, the research has yielded insight into how the brain processes color.

Wired (tiered subscription model) (2/10)

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Pill inspired by tortoises reduces blood sugar levels in pigs

A small, ingestible device inspired by leopard tortoises injects insulin into the stomach and reduced blood glucose levels in pigs to nearly the same extent as a conventional insulin shot, researchers reported in Science. More animal studies are underway, and scientists hope the device could eventually be used to deliver other drugs that now must be injected.

The Associated Press (2/7)

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Avian influenza gain-of-function studies to commence

Avian influenza gain-of-function studies to commence
(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Proposed avian influenza gain-of-function studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands have received approval. Gain-of-function studies can show how viruses spread among and between species, but they can also make a virus more potent and dangerous if it is inadvertently or deliberately released.

Science (tiered subscription model) (2/11)

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Diabetes, leukemia drug combo blocks breast cancer in mice

A combination of diabetes drug metformin and BCL-2 protein inhibitor venetoclax, a leukemia drug, killed breast cancer cells in lab cultures and donated tissue, and the regimen prevented tumor formation in mice, according to research published in Nature Communications. The combination targets activity associated with the MYC gene, which is overexpressed in more than 40% of breast cancers, and treatment was associated with significantly longer survival in mice.

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (2/6),  United Press International (2/6)

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Mouse study suggests exercise could help shield brain from Alzheimer’s

Mouse study suggests exercise could help shield brain from Alzheimer's
Mice that swam almost daily for five weeks had elevated levels of the exercise-induced hormone irisin and didn’t develop cognitive impairment even after exposure to the Alzheimer’s-associated beta amyloid protein, unlike their counterparts that received irisin-blocking drugs and sedentary mice. The findings in Nature Medicine suggest that irisin may have a protective role in Alzheimer’s and could lead to the development of a preventive therapy for people.

The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (2/10)

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Other News


Innovative care allows badly burned bobcat to return to the wild

A severely burned, emaciated bobcat discovered walking on bloody paws after the Camp Fire in California burned out was set free Sunday in Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve. Veterinarian Jaime Peyton led the big cat’s treatment team, applying tilapia-skin bandages to his burns and using cold laser therapy to prevent infections as well as pulse electromagnetic therapy for pain.

The Sacramento Bee (Calif.) (tiered subscription model) (2/12)

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Small-animal veterinarian sees good results from PRP therapy

Veterinarian Jacquie Pankatz says she has seen good results from platelet-rich plasma treatments for pets with osteoarthritis and ligament damage. Dr. Pankatz says PRP therapy can replace anti-inflammatory drugs in some cases at about the same cost.

Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin (Ontario) (2/10)

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Wash. bill would require research institutions to put dogs, cats up for adoption

A bill under consideration in the Washington state Senate would require public universities and facilities that conduct research in collaboration with those universities to offer for adoption dogs and cats used in research at the conclusion of the studies. The University of Washington and Washington State University support the bill, as they both already had existing adoption policies.

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (2/6)

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