Dog lovers may soon have access to a broad-spectrum cancer vaccine not only for their four-legged family members but for their human loved ones as well, thanks to an ongoing canine clinical trial, writes FBR President Matthew R. Bailey. Animal research has yielded and will continue to deliver breakthroughs that benefit humankind and the animals we cherish, and all animal lovers should support such research, Bailey writes. The Independent (St. George, Utah) (9/24)
Americans love animals and strongly support science, but many have a conflict when the two intersect in the form of medical research, writes Cindy Buckmaster, chair of the board of directors of Americans for Medical Progress. Advances in both human and veterinary medicine depend on animal research, and despite advances in computer modeling, organs on chips, and cell and tissue research methods, animals are still a crucial piece of the medical research puzzle, Buckmaster writes.
Mayo Clinic researchers found that mice with tau protein tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease had senescent microglia and astrocytes in brain regions involved in cognition and memory prior to cognitive decline, but they no longer had tau protein accumulation and inflammation symptoms after receiving treatment with a genetically modified enzyme targeted to remove senescent cells. The findings, which also documented reduced neuronal death and memory loss, were published in the journal Nature.
Rhesus monkeys were less likely to make a risky choice than a safe one after researchers temporarily inactivated a region in the prefrontal cortex involved in eye movements, suggesting that the primate brain adjusts depending on the stakes, researchers reported in Current Biology. “If you look at risk preference as not something that is fixed and set in stone, then we can actually think about what we can do to help people to change their risk preference to something that is better for them,” said neuroscience professor Michael Platt.
Almost all of the more than 1,800 macaques living on Cayo Santiago, off the coast of Puerto Rico, survived Hurricane Maria, but most of the trees the monkeys relied on for shade were killed. The lack of shade may have led the monkeys to compete for shade and disperse more widely, and new babies might develop their cognitive abilities differently than those born before the storm.
Researchers who isolated and sequenced messenger RNA in roundworms’ muscle, neuron, intestine and epidermis cells found each type of tissue had distinct patterns of gene expression, but some of those patterns differed from human gene expression in some interesting ways. The researchers used their findings to develop a gene activity prediction tool based on the Caenorhabditis elegans study, which was published in PLOS Genetics, and co-author Coleen Murphy said she hopes “people in the worm research community will use this to find things we haven’t even thought of yet.”
Veterinary surgical oncologist Michelle Oblak and her colleagues at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College used 3D printing to make a titanium skull for a 9-year-old dachshund whose brain tumor had grown through its skull. The veterinary team first took a CT scan of the dog’s head and used software programs to determine how to remove the tumor and attach the replacement skull.
Research institutions and organizations have filed letters of support for a National Association for Biomedical Research complaint filed with the Department of Transportation asserting that airlines’ policies barring transport of research animals are unlawful and counterproductive. “Unfortunately, opponents to animal research have engaged in tactics of harassment, protests, and public smear campaigns in an effort to end the transportation of vital research animals involved in health studies worldwide,” says NABR President Matthew R. Bailey.
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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.