Artificial womb succeeds in lamb study | Animal-derived phages kill drug-resistant bacteria in mice | IPS-derived "vaccine" prevents organ graft rejection in animal study
April 26, 2017
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Artificial womb succeeds in lamb study
Artificial womb succeeds in lamb study.
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
An artificial womb developed at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia allowed premature lambs to survive and mature normally outside the mother's womb for about a month, according to a report in Nature Communications. The device, which may allow very premature babies to survive, is made up of a clear plastic bag filled with synthetic amniotic fluid and is attached to an external machine that provides nutrition and oxygen and removes carbon dioxide.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (4/26),  National Public Radio (4/25),  Science online (4/25) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Animal-derived phages kill drug-resistant bacteria in mice
Bacteriophages derived from avian and canine feces reduced bacterial levels and improved the health of mice infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. "What is remarkable is that these 'drugs' were discovered, isolated, identified, and tested in a matter of weeks, and for less money than most of us probably spend in a month on groceries," said senior investigator Anthony Maresso.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (4/19) 
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IPS-derived "vaccine" prevents organ graft rejection in animal study
An immune-suppressing vaccine derived from induced pluripotent stem cells inhibited the immune response in donor heart grafts, preventing rejection when the grafts were transplanted to mice, according to a study published in Stem Cell Reports. The technique needs further study and could be limited by the requirement to use donor-derived cells to induce immune tolerance, said Dan Kaufman, director of cell therapy at the University of California at San Diego.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model) (4/22) 
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Umbilical cord plasma improves cognitive functions in aging mice, study finds
Aging mice treated with the protein TIMP2 extracted from human umbilical blood plasma exhibited improved cognitive function, according to a study in the journal Nature.
The Scientist online (4/19),  Nature (free content) (4/19) 
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Gut flora may stimulate hunger for missing nutrients
Eating different foods changes the balance of bacteria in the gut, and experiments with fruit flies shows that certain gut bacteria can stimulate appetite for nutrients missing in the diet. The findings, published in PLOS Biology, suggest that gut-brain communication might be a basis for future treatments, senior author Carlos Ribeiro says.
Scientific American online (4/25) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Zoonotic diseases highlight importance of One Health principles
Zoonotic diseases highlight importance of One Health principles.
(Pixabay)
Cases in which Rocky Mountain spotted fever has been diagnosed in pets but not in their owners who also had the disease highlight the importance of a One Health approach to public health, including fostering information sharing among health care providers, says Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, director of the Center for One Health Research at the University of Washington. Veterinary medical education is more focused than human medical education on zoonotic diseases and environmental factors, and Rabinowitz says that needs to change.
Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (4/19) 
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Geneticists construct dog family tree
Geneticists construct dog family tree
(Pixabay)
Scientists analyzed the genomes of 1,346 dogs representing 161 breeds, compared 150,000 spots on each genome, and developed a graph that shows the breeds' relative connections. Nearly all the breeds could be categorized into one of 23 clades, and the findings, published in Cell Reports, could help veterinarians better understand the role of genetics in shared conditions.
Science online (4/25) 
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Policy News
Gates urges continued focus on neglected tropical diseases
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, drugmakers and leaders of Western countries vowed continued support for the global effort to eradicate most neglected tropical diseases. With a "broader, deeper bench of investors," the goal of treating 90% of those who need it by 2030 is attainable, Bill Gates said.
Reuters (4/19) 
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FBR News
Need cloud resources for your research?
The NIH is testing a new funding mechanism for its extramural research community. The NIH Commons Credits Pilot will advance biomedical research in big data and cloud computing. Help shape the future of cloud computing in biomedical research by registering now for the 2017 award cycle. Learn more.
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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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