Studying diseases in dogs could lead to faster cures for them and us | Drug-carrying immune cells extend progression-free survival in glioblastoma | Vaccine reduces bad cholesterol in mice, paving way for human trials
Dogs develop cancers that are remarkably similar to human cancers; are susceptible to arthritis, diabetes, obesity and other conditions; have a similar microbiome as people and share the same living space, writes scientist Bernard Munos. He suggests starting canine research initiatives similar to the NIH's All of Us study, and organizations and academic universities are beginning to do just that.
Researchers in China say they killed residual glioblastoma cells in mice by injecting neutrophils containing lipid-encased paclitaxel into the animals' bloodstreams after tumor excision. The researchers reported in Nature Nanotechnology that the treated mice lived significantly longer than untreated mice, but the treatment did not prevent recurrence indefinitely.
An experimental vaccine triggered the activity of immune system antibodies in mice that target the PCSK9 enzyme and reduced low-density lipoprotein levels as well as biomarkers of vascular inflammation, and human trials are underway. Several doses of the vaccine were administered, and the effects were long-lasting in mice, the researchers reported in the European Heart Journal.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel found that autologous stem cell therapy is not only an ineffective way of treating heart failure in mice, but stem cells derived from damaged heart tissue could develop inflammatory properties that may worsen heart damage. The study, published in the journal Circulation, did find, however, that deleting the TLR4 gene, which causes the stem cells to develop inflammatory properties, could restore the stem cells back to a reparative state.
Twenty-nine strains of Escherichia coli bacteria extended the life span of Caenorhabditis elegans, 12 strains also appeared to protect the roundworms against cancer and beta amyloid buildup, associated with neurodegenerative disease, and one overproduced colanic acid, which also extended the worms' longevity on its own. Meng Wang, who led the study published in Cell, suggests that as bacteria form biofilms and release colanic acid, mitochondria may respond by releasing reactive oxygen species that activate an anti-aging response.
Veterinarians have diagnosed 70 dogs in Maricopa County, Ariz., with leptospirosis, a zoonotic disease that can be passed to humans from dogs, and the number of cases is believed to be increasing. State veterinarian Peter Mundschenk said most of the cases were related to boarding and pet day care facilities, and reports have been concentrated around Scottsdale and Phoenix, with a new cluster in Tucson.
As president of FBR, Matthew Bailey's mission is to educate lawmakers and the public about the vital importance of animal research and to dispel myths about how research animals are treated. "Currently, there appears to be a concerted effort to vilify the humane use of dogs in research; unfortunately, the public does not fully understand that many of the drugs available to them were developed with the help of dogs in research," Bailey said. "We also often forget that animal research helps animals, too."
Some researchers allow papers posted online before peer review to be freely redistributed and reused, and others set licensing terms that limit reuse and redistribution, which also limits the public good of posting preprints, says ASAPBio director Jessica Polka. ASAPBio has set up a task force that includes researchers, legal experts, funding agency officials and publishers to explore attitudes about preprint licensing.
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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.