One of the Ebola virus vaccines that has worked well in studies involving nonhuman primates is being used under a compassionate use exemption in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the virus recently reemerged. The vaccine was also effective in a ring-vaccination trial in Guinea, where people exposed to someone who had an Ebola infection were vaccinated to build a ring of immunity that blocks transmission.
Lasker Foundation President Claire Pomeroy, who is chairwoman of FBR's Board of Directors, told the graduating class of Virginia Commonwealth University's College of Medicine that addressing social determinants of health is key to improving the nation's health and well-being. Pomeroy, the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony, noted that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the first woman's admission to VCU's medical college, and this year was the first that more women than men were enrolled in US medical schools.
Researchers at Texas Biomedical Research Institute are developing an Ebola virus treatment that can reduce viral load enough to allow the patient's immune system to clear the rest of the infection. The treatment has been effective in nonhuman primates, whose immune responses are so similar to humans' that "we are confident in saying, if we are able to protect a monkey against the Ebola virus, it should work in humans," said scientist Ricardo Carrion.
A study in the journal Science Advances found that the green, bile-tinted blood of lizards in the genus Prasinohaema is toxic to malaria parasites in laboratory tests. Researchers believe the trait developed independently in six species of lizards on the island of New Guinea.
Researchers describe in PLOS Pathogens new tools that demonstrate how CD8 T cells accumulate in the lungs of pigs after aerosol delivery of a vaccine, and the researchers say the toolset can be used to identify virus proteins recognized by the immune system and, potentially, to develop new vaccines.
Japanese researchers who used the CRISPR gene editing tool found that mouse models with a mutated App gene, which is associated with accumulation of amyloid-beta plaques, had protection from Alzheimer's disease and reduced amyloid-beta buildup, compared with those without the gene mutation. The findings in Nature Communications suggest that gene editing could be useful in studying Alzheimer's disease and other incurable diseases, researchers said.
Dogs of breeds not known to be predisposed to heart disease have a higher than expected risk of developing cardiovascular disease if they are born in June, July or August, echoing a similar link between birth season and CVD risk seen in humans, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. People and dogs "are exposed to similar environmental effects, so seeing this birth season-cardiovascular disease relationship in both species illuminates mechanisms behind this birth-season disease relationship," said lead author Mary Regina Boland.
Chimpanzees that were part of research projects at the NIH should be moved to retirement sanctuaries unless relocating them would be "extremely likely" to put their life, safety and welfare at extreme risk, an NIH working group said in a report. The opinion of an independent veterinary expert should be sought in questionable cases, and the sending and receiving facilities should collaborate and share veterinary records, according to the report, which also notes that the NIH "lacks the data necessary to proactively assess the health of individual chimpanzees in its colony, track chimpanzees over time, or conduct its own population or actuarial research."
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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.