Radical groups want to ban all animal research as researchers are on the cusp of finding a cure for AIDS, but that progress depends -- like so much other vital medical research -- on animals, writes Gregory Angelo, the former president of Log Cabin Republicans. Animal research has resulted in better anesthesia, heart valve replacements, treatments for manic-depressive disorder and tuberculosis, and a vaccine for polio, Angelo notes. "Imagine how different the world would be if it weren't for the contribution animals have made to medical research," Angelo writes.
A study published in Genome Biology and Evolution identified genetic variants that appear to confer resistance to facial tumor disease in Tasmanian devils, and their findings could be applicable to cancer in people and in other animals. The research could lead to treatments that elicit a tumor regression response, says researcher Mark Margres.
A Zika virus vaccine being developed at the University of Hawaii has been effective in mice and monkeys, suggesting that the vaccine will protect humans, researchers reported in both Frontiers in Immunology and mSphere. The vaccine candidate is based on a Zika virus protein produced in insect cells, and study leader Axel Lehrer says it might be safer than some other experimental Zika vaccines.
Special cells that appear temporarily during chemotherapy may be linked to recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia and, if targeted when they appear, may prevent a relapse of the disease, according to findings published in Cancer Cell. Researchers were able to successfully prevent relapse in mice treated with chemotherapy by suppressing a particular gene.
An implantable device that delivers healing molecules to damaged cardiac tissue may one day help heart attack patients, a study published online in Science Advances suggests. The polymer patch, which has microneedles on one side and a gel that includes cardiac stromal cells on the other, is placed on the damaged tissue and has shown promising results in tests on rats and pigs.
A vaccine for canine leishmaniasis is also an effective treatment for the infection, researchers reported in Vaccine. The vaccine, which is approved in Brazil, was tested in the US on more than 400 dogs in eight states and showed efficacy in both preventing and treating the parasitic infection.
Veterinary surgeon Ron Ben-Amotz teamed up with interventional radiologist Maxim Itkin to treat a dog's chylothorax, a chronic condition that occurs in animals and people where lymphatic fluid leaks and causes breathing problems. The surgeons used ultrasound and a fluoroscope to guide a catheter through the dog's groin and into the main lymphatic duct to the site of the leak, where they used a small platinum coil to inject a medical-grade glue and seal the leak.
The FDA halted research on nicotine addiction after criticism over the involvement of non-human primates in the study, and those monkeys are now being sent to sanctuaries, where they are acclimating to their new surroundings. Though some activists applauded the move, animal research improves the lives of animals as well as humans, and opposition to it is misguided, says FBR President Matthew R. Bailey.
The National Association for Biomedical Research recently filed an official complaint with the Department of Transportation requesting an investigation into reports of airlines refusing to transport of animals for research purposes while knowingly transporting the same species for other purposes. This practice is discriminatory and puts human health at risk, but comments opposing NABR's complaint outnumber those in support of it. Please support this effort and biomedical research by commenting before Dec. 6!
A two-day National Academy of Sciences Sackler Colloquium will shine a spotlight on research involving non-human primates that has advanced understanding and treatment of human brain disorders. The event is scheduled for Jan. 7-8 in Irvine, Calif., for all participants. Learn more.
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is accepting nominations for a prize recognizing excellence in biological and biomedical sciences research. Named in recognition of donors, the Switzer Prize highlights basic science research essential to advancements in patient care. The nomination deadline is Feb. 28, 2019. The winner receives a $25,000 honorarium and delivers an annual lecture in Fall 2019. Read more.
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People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.
Blaise Pascal, mathematician, physicist and theologian
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.