Protein derived from llama antibodies protects mice against influenza A, B | Nerve stimulation device restores paralyzed patients' mobility | 2 genes responsible for deer antler regrowth also occur in humans
An intranasal vaccine protected mice from a swath of influenza virus A and B strains, including H1N1, researchers reported in Science. To develop the vaccine, scientists vaccinated llamas against various A and B strains, collected the resulting antibodies and identified four unusually small antibodies with activity against a variety of influenza viruses. Those antibodies were used to synthesize a single protein with "impressive breadth and potency," that the authors say could provide broad protection as influenza mutates.
Three men who suffered severe spine injuries and lost their ability to walk have regained mobility after receiving an experimental pacemaker-like implant, and there is some indication that the implant has spurred nerve regrowth, researchers reported in Nature. In previous studies, non-human primates regained function through the use of brain implants, and continuous stimulation through the spinal cord not only restored rats' ability to move their hind legs and run but also stimulated the formation of new connections from the motor cortex to brain stem, said Gregoire Courtine, senior author of the new study.
Deer antlers comprise a complex matrix of rapidly growing bone, tissue and nerve endings, and two genes that work in tandem to drive annual antler regrowth in fallow deer also occur in humans, according to a study published in the Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy that also involved mice. The finding could help scientists develop treatments for bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Researchers studying the genes of 81 species of roundworms and flatworms are discovering how worms manipulate the human immune system and cause diseases such as river blindness, schistosomiasis and hookworm disease in a billion people worldwide. The researchers identified many new potential treatment targets and studied existing drugs to identify those that could be repurposed to kill parasitic worms.
Researchers working on the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative have compiled a database of feline genomes from other researchers, veterinarians, zoos and cat owners to study diseases common to cats and people, including epilepsy, polycystic kidney disease, diabetes, allergies, asthma, obesity and rare genetic diseases. The international initiative is partially funded through public donations, which have exceeded expectations.
An experimental gene therapy based on interleukin-10 is showing promise in dogs with severe osteoarthritis, reducing pain and inflammation and restoring their ability to move, and it could reduce the need for joint replacements in humans, says University of Colorado Boulder neuroscience professor Linda Watkins. More dogs are being accepted into clinical trials, and the FDA recently approved the experimental therapy for human use.
The NIH recently issued a final policy for retiring chimpanzees that have played a vital role in biomedical research for decades to a sanctuary in Louisiana, with their care funded by the federal government and private donations. The policy leaves some core philosophical and practical issues unresolved, such as what setting and care practices are best for the well-being of the chimps, including those that are elderly, frail and longtime members of stable social groups, writes Allyson Bennett.
The FDA will provide technical and programmatic assistance through the new Veterinary Innovation Program for the intentional genetic modification of animals and animal cells, tissues and cell- or tissue-based products for animal or human health or food production. The FDA will issue guidance on risk-based categories, the agency's approach to regulation, regulatory flexibility and information exchange, and will hold a web-based workshop on animal gene editing Dec. 3.
Get your copy of our "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" brochure!
The FBR booth at AALAS 2018 in Baltimore was a big success! We met hundreds of people and gave away over 2,500 coasters, stickers, and phone wallets. But the most popular item was our "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" brochure; just in the last two weeks and we distributed more than 5,000 copies. If you would like a copy, email email@example.com.
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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!
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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.