Researchers have stored semen from the last male northern white rhino and are working on procedures to collect eggs from the two remaining northern white females with an eye toward implanting embryos in surrogates to potentially restore the species. "We are now at the point that we can perform the procedure very safely. We did it more than 16 times in southern white rhino females," said Thomas Hildebrandt of the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin.
A dime-sized, biodegradable gel disc that gradually releases an immunostimulant appeared to prevent postoperative recurrence of breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma in mice when implanted at the surgical resection site. None of the mice with breast cancer that responded to the treatment developed cancer again when rechallenged with fresh cancer cells, while all of the mice treated with surgery alone developed cancer when rechallenged, researcher Michael Goldberg said.
A study in PLOS ONE found that chronic gastrointestinal disease was more common among dogs with a history of canine parvovirus. Researchers analyzed data for 138 dogs, including owners' responses to questionnaires, and said further study would be needed to differentiate the influences of CPV infection, treatment and other possible causes.
Injections of antibodies that target apolipoprotein E reduced amyloid plaque buildup in the brains of mice genetically engineered to host human APOE genes, researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Preventing the production of APOE might clear or prevent amyloid plaques in people with Alzheimer's disease, says Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach for the Alzheimer's Association.
Viagra has shown promise in preventing colorectal cancer in mice, according to findings published in Cancer Prevention Research. When mice susceptible to colorectal cancer were given the drug, researchers noted a 50% decrease in the formation of intestinal precancerous polyps compared with mice that didn't receive Viagra.
In a small clinical trial, pulsed electromagnetic field therapy was associated with reduced pain and improved blood markers of injury in dogs that had undergone surgery for acute intervertebral disc extrusion. A larger study would be needed to determine whether PEMF therapy enhances neurologic recovery after spinal cord injury, said veterinary neurologist Natasha Olby, who led the study.
A study published in PLOS Pathogens described the structure of a reverse transcriptase protein common to both feline immunodeficiency virus and HIV, and the findings might lead to the identification of new drug targets for both diseases. The protein resists reverse-transcriptase inhibitors in cats with FIV by creating a "closed pocket" that prevents drugs from binding, but changing the protein to facilitate binding did not make the protein more vulnerable to RTIs, indicating that other factors confer drug resistance.
The omnibus spending package expands the NIH's budget by $3 billion, to $37 billion, and adds $414 million in new money for Alzheimer's disease research, $140 million more for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative. The budget also increases spending by $60 million for the All of Us precision medicine study, $40 million for development of a universal influenza vaccine and $500 million for opioid addiction research.
A congressional report accompanying the 2018 USDA spending bill notes that the department has been redacting inspection reports in violation of congressional direction requiring that the USDA's online searchable database "allow analysis and comparison of data and include all inspection reports, annual reports, and other documents related to enforcement of animal welfare laws." However, National Association for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey said he is "not aware of any heavily redacted research compliance reports," and his organization has not had a problem retrieving needed information.
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