Dolly's legacy: Cloning debate, stem cell advances | Capsule vaccine protects monkeys from anthrax | Scientists study novel biological mechanism to stop Zika's spread
July 6, 2016
FBR Smartbrief
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Dolly's legacy: Cloning debate, stem cell advances
Dolly's legacy: Cloning debate, stem cell advances.
Dolly (Getty Images)
Twenty years ago, Dolly the sheep was born, marking a major scientific breakthrough that followed hundreds of failed attempts and sparking debate over the ethics of cloning and whether the technology might ever be applied to humans. Today, animal cloning is uncommon, although of interest for livestock applications, and experts say Dolly's greatest legacy is in demonstrating the feasibility of animal cell reprogramming and laying the groundwork for many important stem cell research and treatment advances. (7/5),  BBC (7/4) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Capsule vaccine protects monkeys from anthrax
Scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases reported in the journal Vaccine that monkeys survived exposure to anthrax spores after being vaccinated with a high-dosage anthrax capsule vaccine. Monkeys not given the vaccine did not survive exposure.
HealthDay News (7/1) 
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Scientists study novel biological mechanism to stop Zika's spread
Scientists study novel biological mechanism to stop Zika's spread.
(Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Deliberately infecting mosquitoes with Wolbachia pipientis, a bacterium carried by butterflies and bees, and releasing them into nature might reduce Zika virus transmission, scientists say. A study published in Scientific Reports found that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with W. pipientis were less prone to infection with Zika than those without the bacteria, which passes to offspring so could conceivably become widespread once introduced to a population.
La Crosse Tribune (Wis.) (7/1) 
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Immunotherapy works against autoimmune disorder in mouse study
University of Pennsylvania researchers treated the autoimmune disorder pemphigus vulgaris in mice by programming T-cells to attack only the part of the immune system causing the disorder. The next step is to cure the disorder in dogs before initiating clinical trials in people, researcher Aimee Payne said.
BBC (7/1) 
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Mice "unlearn" behavior when gene is deactivated
Silencing the gene that encodes neuroplastin made mice forget an associative learned behavior and could help people with traumatic memories, according to a study published in Biological Psychiatry. Single-photon emission computed tomography imaging showed cellular communication changes in the brains of treated mice.
Gizmag (6/30) 
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Blocking protein might help patients recover after heart attack
A study in mice showed that the RBPJ protein restrains the growth of blood vessels in the adult heart, and blocking the protein could promote the development of new blood vessels and help patients recover from myocardial infarction, which can leave them with debilitating heart failure, study leader Mark Mercola said.
Times of San Diego (7/1) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Scientists prod sleeping bears for clues on diabetes, heart disease
Scientists prod sleeping bears for clues on diabetes, heart disease
(Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Scientists are studying bears' cardiovascular system, fat storage, metabolism, muscle chemistry and renal function in an effort to unravel the secrets of hibernation, including how bears can gain weight without the negative health consequences humans experience and why insulin resistance leads to diabetes in people but not in bears. Researchers hope the findings can one day be applied to human diseases, but they have many more questions to answer: "We have to learn and relearn and relearn that nature has solved these problems," said researcher Heiko Jansen.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/4) 
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Policy News
Why military medical practice depends on animals
Some members of Congress have signaled support for an effort to stop the use of animal surgeries in military training, a move former Army medic Adam Linehan says would deprive military doctors of critical training and injured personnel and civilians of lifesaving expertise. Battlefield medicine is often practiced in difficult circumstances that can leave a medic "blindsided" if he or she has not handled a given injury before, Linehan writes: "For most combat medics, training on live animals is the only way they’ll experience that real blood, bone and tissue before they treat their first battlefield casualty."
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/6) 
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