Although data collection for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study continues, early stats offer a glimpse into the lives and health of the participating pet dogs. The study has found that 68 of the dogs have heart murmurs, 6% are exposed to secondhand smoke, one third are overweight and more than half swim regularly, and later findings are expected to shed light on cancer and other major diseases.
In a paper that will be published in The CRISPR Journal, scientists are reporting that they edited the allele in mice that causes retinitis pigmentosa, correcting a single nucleotide, without changing the healthy allele. If the modified technique is validated in further studies, it might work in hundreds of other genetic diseases, such as Huntington's disease and Marfan syndrome.
Researchers from the Stanford Cancer Institute tested a cancer vaccine consisting of two immune-stimulating agents injected directly into tumors of mouse subjects that killed the cancer cells while also decimating rogue cells that came from the tumors and had spread to other areas of the subjects' bodies. Findings were reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Woodpeckers repeatedly hammer their beaks into trees at up to 15 mph, 20 times a second, but the constant headbanging does not seem to cause concussions. An analysis of woodpeckers' brains showed tau protein accumulations in patterns reminiscent of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in human brains, but the researchers suspect that instead of being pathological, the tau accumulations are protective. The findings, published in PLOS ONE, might lead to new insights about how to protect human brains.
Researchers' ethical responsibilities extend beyond the lab, and Johns Hopkins Medicine has a well-established process to find compatible homes for cats and dogs after research projects are complete. Adoptive owners say the animals are like any others -- social, active and loving.
Veterinarians at the University of Calgary and the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine are studying how closely feline type 2 diabetes resembles the human disease. If the two are similar on a molecular level, drugs used for humans might help cats, and studies involving cats might help people.
A study on nicotine exposure that was halted by the FDA was designed to answer the important question of whether there is any level of exposure that is not harmful to children, and the study appears to have been shuttered in response to interference by high-profile animal-rights activists, says FBR President Matthew R. Bailey. "Undoubtedly, some will argue that this recent action by the FDA is a reason to end research with animal models. But given the inextricable role humane and responsible animal research plays in the health of the overall population, and the health of the animals about which we care so deeply, that is a very dangerous proposition," he said.
The NIH is assembling an advisory panel to develop recommendations for moving the 288 chimpanzees that were involved in research programs and have not yet been moved from their labs. The only federally approved facility is nearly full, many of the chimps are elderly, the moving process is arduous, and some that were moved died soon thereafter. Some scientists say the chimps should be allowed to retire in place, in surroundings and social groups to which they are accustomed.
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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.