Studies find Zika in wild monkeys but not domesticated animals | FBR commentary: Monkey study emphasizes need for primates in research | Brazilian peppertree extract shown to fight MRSA in mice
February 15, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
Top Story
Studies find Zika in wild monkeys but not domesticated animals
The human strain of the Zika virus has been found in South American monkeys, according to research presented at a gathering of the American Society for Microbiology Biothreats. However, the virus is not harbored in cattle, chickens, pigs, frogs, rabbits, sparrows or goats, according to a report in the Journal of Vector-Borne & Zoonotic Diseases.
Science News (2/8),  Homeland Preparedness News (2/14) 
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FBR commentary: Monkey study emphasizes need for primates in research
Research that found the Zika virus in wild South American monkeys underscores the value of nonhuman primates in biomedical research because infectious disease processes are likely to be similar in monkeys and humans, says FBR President Matthew R. Bailey. For additional information about the benefits of nonhuman primates in research, please visit
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Research Breakthroughs
Brazilian peppertree extract shown to fight MRSA in mice
The Brazilian peppertree, a weed common in the southern US, contains a compound that appears to fight the drug-resistant superbug Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, according to findings published in Scientific Reports. Researchers successfully treated mice infected with MRSA using extracts from the weed.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/10) 
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Gut bacteria may play a role in Alzheimer's disease
Researchers who took gut bacteria from mice with Alzheimer's disease and implanted it into healthy mice saw those animals develop more beta-amyloid plaques than mice that received bacteria from healthy animals, while mice without bacteria were substantially less prone to plaque buildup. The findings, discussed in Scientific Reports, suggest bacteria play a role in development of Alzheimer's, researcher Frida Fak Hallenius said.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free content)/Cox Media Group (2/12) 
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Rabies: Medicine's new anti-cancer weapon?
Researchers in South Korea packaged cancer-fighting nanoparticles with rabies virus surface proteins to help the particles slip past the blood-brain barrier and into the central nervous system, where they could be activated by lasers and target tumors. The technique showed promise in animal models. (2/10) 
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Antibody slows diabetic kidney disease progression in mouse study
Progression of kidney disease was stopped in several mouse models with type 1 and type 2 diabetes after the mice were treated with the 2H10 antibody, which inhibited vascular endothelial growth factor protein signaling and reduced the accumulation of fat deposits in the kidneys. The findings, in Cell Metabolism, showed that the antibody also improved insulin sensitivity and blood pressure in the mice. (U.K.) (2/10) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Happy owners might mean happier dogs, study finds
Happy owners might mean happier dogs, study finds.
A study published in PLOS ONE found that dogs and their owners influence each other's personalities and ability to cope with stress, and humans have a particularly marked effect on dog behavior. Heart rate and cortisol levels were recorded and interpreted alongside survey results, revealing that dogs are sensitive to the emotional state of their owners, and dogs may adjust their behavior in response.
BBC (2/9) 
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Welcome to the "hyperinfectious disease world"
Welcome to the "hyperinfectious disease world."
(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)
Since 1980, the number of annual infectious disease outbreaks has tripled, and the number of emerging diseases per decade has nearly quadrupled over the past 60 years, leading epidemiologist Michael Osterholm to call this a "hyperinfectious disease world." Disease ecologist Barbara Han says sampling bias may play a role, but scientists agree old illnesses persist while new diseases are surfacing, and human activity is contributing to the emergence of animal diseases as potent threats among people.
National Public Radio (2/7) 
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Policy News
Coalition calls for centralized repository of biomedical preprints
The NIH, the Wellcome Trust, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the European Research Council and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute are among the major funders of biomedical research supporting ASAPbio's call to create a single repository for life-science papers that have not undergone peer review. Supporters say a one-stop preprint server would make it easier to mine biomedical literature; critics of the idea point out that a database, BioRxiv, already exists.
Nature (free content) (2/13),  The Scientist online (2/13) 
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FBR News
For 35 years, FBR has advanced biomedical research for the sake of both human and animal health. We can't do our job without your support. Please give what you can. Together we will continue to make a difference.
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In our society ... those who are in reality superior in intelligence can be accepted by their fellows only if they pretend they are not.
Marya Mannes,
writer and broadcast commentator
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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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