Trump requests immediate cuts to science, health spending | Quadriplegic controls arm with brain | Learn more about the benefits of research involving nonhuman primates
March 29, 2017
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Trump requests immediate cuts to science, health spending
President Donald Trump requested congressional appropriators cut $1.2 billion from the NIH's budget for this year, which was set at $31.6 billion in a December continuing resolution. Among other cuts, Trump asked Congress to cut $350 million from the National Science Foundation and $40 million from the FDA, and eliminating the State Department's $72 million Global Health Security fund. Congressional leaders say they are unlikely to comply with the request.
NBC News (3/28),  Bloomberg (3/28) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Quadriplegic controls arm with brain
A 56-year-old man paralyzed from the shoulders down after a bicycling accident is now able to reach and grasp with the help of a prosthesis that decodes his brain signals and transmits them to sensors in his arm, researchers reported in The Lancet. Sensors implanted in the part of the brain responsible for hand movement transmit signals to 36 muscle-stimulating electrodes in the man's upper and lower arm using technology pioneered in research involving nonhuman primates.
Sky News (3/29),  National Review (3/29),  Time.com (3/28) 
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Learn more about the benefits of research involving nonhuman primates
To get FBR's white paper and brochure, "The Critical Role of Nonhuman Primates in Medical Research" and "Lifesaving Benefits of Primate Research", go to monkeyresearch.org.
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Xenografts allow realistic study of breast tumors
Xenografts allow realistic study of breast tumors.
(Mychele Daniau/Getty Images)
Researchers reported in Nature Communications that they identified and quantified 10,000 proteins in each of 24 patient-derived xenografts of breast tumors of different subtypes, and a "substantial" number are potentially treatment targets. Growing human tumors in laboratory mice mimics the tumors' natural environment and "offers a closer representation of the tumor's growth environment to study cancer drugs than cells growing on a laboratory plastic dish," researcher Matthew Ellis said.
United Press International (3/28) 
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Ridding the body of semi-dormant cells might slow aging, cancer
A growing body of evidence links semi-dormant, or senescent, cells to aging-related conditions, including arthritis, cataracts and atherosclerosis, and a new study published in Cell showed that nudging the cells toward apoptosis might reverse changes associated with aging. Regular injections of a peptide that targets senescent cells improved fitness, kidney function and hair growth in mice engineered to age quickly. The researchers are planning a clinical trial of the peptide in patients with glioblastoma multiforme, in which cells have a marker similar to that in senescent cells.
The Guardian (London) (3/23) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Understanding how TB affects wild animals might prevent transmission
Researchers at Stellenbosch University in South Africa are studying tuberculosis in wild lions, mongooses, warthogs, elephants, hyenas and wild dogs, teasing out the roles of genetics, immunity and other factors that contribute to susceptibility and progression. "You cannot only look at one part of the picture regarding the organisms that cause TB," said professor Michele Miller. "Humans, animals and the diseases they might share, operate in a complex system that is impacted by the environment in which they live. We need to look at the full picture, including how the pathogens change as well as host adaptations, to prevent and manage TB in animals and humans."
BizCommunity.com (South Africa) (3/24) 
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Officials declare Fla. screwworm outbreak over
Officials said the screwworm outbreak in South Florida is over after local, state and federal agencies collaborated to eradicate the parasitic fly from the area. No cases of the flesh-eating insects, which threatened wildlife, domestic and livestock species as well as humans, have been documented since Jan. 10.
Sunshine State News (Fla.) (3/24) 
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Policy News
NIH to consider preprints in grant applications
The NIH will consider citations of certain interim research products in grant proposals submitted for the May 25 deadline and thereafter. The announcement included definitions of interim research products, citation rules and guidance for selecting interim repositories.
The Scientist online (3/27) 
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Proposed Pa. budget would cut veterinary school's funding
The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine stands to lose $30 million in state funding if Gov. Tom Wolf's proposed budget is enacted. Faculty and students say such a drastic cut would put the state's food safety and agriculture industries as well as infectious disease at risk and compromise the education of future veterinarians.
The Daily Pennsylvanian (University of Pennsylvania) (3/23) 
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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.
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