October 27, 2021
FBR SmartBrief
Top Stories
A campaign targeting Dr. Anthony Fauci and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is based on misinformation while failing to recognize that research involving animals such as dogs is not only important but required by the FDA as part of research vetting new therapies. "Millions of people are alive today because of his work against AIDS, COVID-19 and more. ... But I'm grateful for Fauci -- and so is my puppy," writes Dana Milbank.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/27) 
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Study with monkeys finds durable protection from Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Rhesus monkeys inoculated with two doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine did not develop severe illness when exposed 48 weeks later to the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, according to a paper posted on bioRxiv before peer review. The virus was not culturable in bronchoalveolar samples but was detected in nasal swabs four days after challenge, suggesting that periodic boosters may be needed for durable protection of the upper airway, the researchers wrote.
Full Story: News Medical (10/26) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Researchers at Tulane University's National Primate Research Center, Rockefeller University and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are running studies with rhesus monkeys on antibody combinations in an effort to cure HIV. Broadly neutralizing antibodies lowered viral counts and stimulated immunity, and the addition of a monoclonal antibody that blocks a specific integrin prevented viral rebound in infected monkeys, the researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine.
Full Story: Medical Xpress (10/25) 
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Tiny fruit fly brain yields big insights
Fruit flies have around 100,000 neurons and tens of millions of synapses in their tiny but complex brains, and a project led by Google and Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to map the fruit fly connectome has yielded insight into how the little insects navigate and execute behaviors appropriate to their circumstances. The research, which may translate to human brains, involves using focused-ion beam scanning electron microscopes, computer vision software, advanced machine learning algorithms and other state-of-the-art equipment and computational tools.
Full Story: The New York Times (10/26) 
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Surges of estrogen appear to send signals to the brain to increase physical activity, suggesting that weight gain and inactivity linked to estrogen depletion in menopause could be reversed, according to a study in Nature. In studies with mice, the researchers found the melanocortin-4 gene in certain neurons is integral to the estrogen-activity link, and activation of the gene resulted in a long-lasting increase in physical activity in both female and male mice.
Full Story: The New York Times (10/20) 
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A temperature-stable, biodegradable silk-protein film that protected rhesus macaques from HIV could reduce incidence rates of HIV/AIDS in areas with limited access to resources, according to researchers at the University of California's Merced campus, the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis, Tufts University and Imperial College London. The film could carry HIV inhibitors to the reproductive and digestive tracts to prevent HIV replication.
Full Story: University of California, Merced (10/20) 
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Jennifer Manuzak is leading a study at the Tulane National Primate Research Center funded by a $4.1 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to study how co-infection with HIV and malaria affects maternal and fetal health. "My hope that this will eventually lead to effective preventives and treatments in areas where these diseases overlap," Manuzak said.
Full Story: Tulane University (10/25) 
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Animal Health
Lions at Denver Zoo infected with SARS-CoV-2
(Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Eleven African lions at Denver Zoo are infected with SARS-CoV-2 they might have caught from an asymptomatic person despite the zoo's safeguards, says Brian Aucone, the zoo's senior vice president for life sciences. The lions have mild lethargy and respiratory illness, and Aucone says the zoo plans to vaccinate its big cats when more doses of the animal vaccine are available.
Full Story: KMGH-TV (Denver) (10/25) 
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A canine vaccine for coccidioidomycosis, or Valley fever, is being tested at the University of Arizona and might be on the market within two years, says lead investigator John Galgiani, who also hopes to adapt the vaccine for human use. The vaccine protected dogs in the study from severe illness, and veterinarian Jennifer Wilcox says having a vaccine "will be real game changer."
Full Story: KOLD-TV/KMSB-TV/KTTV-TV (Tucson, Ariz.) (10/26) 
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FBR News
Did you watch FBR's new video yet?
"MEET THE UNSUNG COVID-19 VACCINE HEROES" is a long overdue thank-you to lab animal veterinarians, vet techs, lab animal caretakers -- and lab animals. Please share the video with your colleagues, friends and family. Will you also consider donating to help FBR share the video far and wide? Give today.
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The adventures of Moura and Magnus
Regina adopted Moura and Magnus from shelters. Read their story to find out what Moura and Magnus' mom has to say on the importance of animal research for improved health for both cats and dogs. Find the story on FBR Real Pet Stories™.
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Animal research is one of the keys to unlocking medical mysteries. We're here to celebrate that and share good news coming out of research laboratories around the world. Read more about COVID-19 vaccines and the animal models behind them in the latest post in FBR's series Animal Research: Unlocking Medical Miracles.
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We struggle to climb, or we struggle to fall. The thing is to discover which way we're going.
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About FBR
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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