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FBR SmartBrief – June 5, 2019

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June 5, 2019
FBR Smartbrief


Monkeys protected against Nipah virus by experimental Ebola treatment

Remdesivir, which is being tested against Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, protected monkeys after exposure to Nipah virus in a small study published in Science Translational Medicine. About 70% of Niphah virus infections are fatal, no vaccine exists, and the only treatment is an experimental monoclonal antibody.

The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/29)

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DOD funds marmoset study of Zika vaccine for pregnant women

DOD funds marmoset study of Zika vaccine for pregnant women
(Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images)
The Department of Defense has awarded a $2 million grant to the Texas Biomedical Research Institute to develop a Zika virus vaccine that is safe and effective in pregnant women. The research will be conducted on marmosets at the Southwest National Primate Research Center on the Texas Biomed campus.

Precision Vaccinations (6/3),  KABB-TV (San Antonio) (6/4)

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Lab-made lympho-organoids replace lymph node function in mice

Lab-made organoids transplanted into mice to replace lymph nodes connected to the existing lymphatic system and drained fluid normally, according to a study in Stem Cell Reports, and researcher Andrea Brendolan says he hopes the proof-of-concept study will lead to development of replacement lymph nodes for people to treat lymphedema. The researchers used collagenous extracellular matrices from cultured spleen stromal cells and seeded them with stromal cell progenitors from mice, and the matrices developed into lympho-organoids when transplanted into mice.

The Scientist online (6/4)

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Biologists raising squid, octopus for research consider animals’ welfare

Biologists raising squid, octopus for research consider animals' welfare
(Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images)
Marine biologists are seeking the best ways to raise octopuses and other cephalopods in captivity for gene, brain and other studies. The researchers have taken care to consider the cephalopods’ welfare despite the absence of regulations regarding research on animals that have no backbone, says biologist Josh Rosenthal.

National Public Radio (6/3)

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Targeting “stalk” of influenza protein might be root of universal vaccine

Vaccines that target the stalk of mushroom-shaped hemagglutinin in influenza viruses instead of the protein’s cap have conferred protection in animal studies, and the results of a new study published in Nature Medicine suggest that the technique protects people as well. The protein’s cap mutates rapidly, and targeting the stalk, which remains stable, could lead to a universal influenza vaccine.

Scientific American (tiered subscription model) (6/2019)

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Scientists move closer to developing influenza-resistant chickens

Scientists move closer to developing influenza-resistant chickens
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Scientists in the UK prevented avian influenza from entering and replicating in chicken cells by editing a section of DNA inside the cells that produces the ANP32 protein. The next step is to ensure the change does not have unintended consequences before producing birds with the edited gene.

Reuters (6/3)

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Disease-infected ticks may spread northward from Mexico

More than 1,000 people in Mexicali, Mexico, have been diagnosed with Rocky Mountain spotted fever since 2008, and researchers found that nearly 75% of the 284 dogs examined had at some point been infected with the tick-borne bacteria that cause the disease. Researchers reported in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene that 80% of Mexicali residents had heard of RMSF, but more than half did not use tick preventives, and the researchers say a northward migration of infected ticks is possible due to climate change.

Futurity (5/30)

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Gender stereotypes in biomedical research lead to flawed designs, conclusions

Longstanding gender stereotypes discouraged the use of female animals in biomedical research, to the detriment of women’s health, and those stereotypes continue to introduce bias into study design and conclusions now that researchers are required to use female subjects, neuroscientist Rebecca Shansky writes in a perspective piece published in Science. The assumption that males are the standard or reference population and females are odd is flawed, says neurobiologist Daniela Pollak, and conclusions from studies based on gender stereotypes encourages dangerous practices, says neuroscientist Ann Fink.

The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/30),  Science (tiered subscription model) (5/31)

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New FBR resource: Animal Research Perceptions vs. Reality

Animal rights groups mislead the public about animal research, but FBR is fighting back with facts. In this resource, highly respected neuro-oncologist and FBR Board Vice-Chair Dr. Henry S. Friedman refutes myths surrounding animal research with scientific evidence and sets the record straight on the reality and benefits of animal research. Check it out.
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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.
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