Non-human primates are irreplaceable in stem cell research | Monkeys exposed to wildfire smoke as babies show lung damage later in life | Gene therapy tested in mice, NHPs targets type of ALS
November 21, 2018
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Non-human primates are irreplaceable in stem cell research
Non-human primates are irreplaceable in stem cell research
(Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images)
Before deriving embryonic stem cells from a human, Jamie Thomson derived stem cells from rhesus macaques and common marmosets, and Thomson and other stem cell researchers emphasize the indispensable role non-human primates play in the field. Marina Emborg, director of the Preclinical Parkinson's Research Program at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, and her colleagues have developed induced pluripotent stem cells from NHP skin cells that may hold promise for treating Parkinson's disease.
Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (11/18) 
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Monkeys exposed to wildfire smoke as babies show lung damage later in life
Fifty monkeys were born at a research facility at the University of California at Davis in 2008 in the midst of wildfires. Subsequent studies of those monkeys have found that their lungs did not develop as well as the lungs of monkeys born at the same facility when no wildfires were burning in the area. The monkeys have also started developing interstitial lung disease, and the findings suggest that newborns and children exposed to wildfire smoke will suffer lifelong lung problems.
FiveThirtyEight (11/20) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Gene therapy tested in mice, NHPs targets type of ALS
Gene therapy tested in mice, NHPs targets type of ALS
(Pixabay)
A gene therapy reduced levels of a protein called superoxide dismutase 1 in non-human primates, suggesting that the therapy could be a one-time treatment for some people with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. After verifying efficacy in mice, researchers used a deactivated virus to deliver the treatment in NHPs, reducing levels of the protein by up to 93% in motor neurons without causing serious side effects.
BioNews Services/ALS News Today (11/14) 
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Material tested in mice, pigs could be gold standard for sealing wounds
A laser-activated material comprising gold nanorods in a purified silk bonds with skin and creates a seal that is stronger than conventional sutures without harming surrounding skin. Researchers say one version of the material sealed intestinal wounds in a pig and another version healed skin wounds on a mouse better than conventional approaches.
Digital Trends (11/19) 
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Animal Health
DNA analysis could lead to better treatments for equine diseases
Genomic research led by veterinary and biochemistry scientists could improve treatments for horses with certain inherited diseases or behavioral traits, says Jamie MacLeod, a professor of veterinary science at the University of Kentucky. The scientists have re-analyzed DNA from the horse on which the original equine reference genome was based.
WKMS-FM (Murray, Ky.) (11/19) 
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Clinical trials on osteosarcoma, solid tumor therapies enrolling pet dogs
Clinical trials on osteosarcoma, solid tumor therapies enrolling pet dogs
(Pixabay)
The Clinical Trials Office at Tufts University's Cummings Veterinary Medical Center is enrolling pet dogs in studies of possible treatments for osteosarcoma and solid tumors, and the results of those trials could have bearing on human medicine. "These are important trials; they offer options for people whose animals have cancer," said veterinarian and Clinical Trials Office Director Cheryl London.
Community Advocate (Westborough, Mass.) (11/19) 
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Policy News
FDA proposes allowing blood test-based bioequivalence studies in dogs
The FDA is conducting bioequivalence studies to see if the method can be used to reduce the number of terminal studies that must be conducted in dogs for veterinary and human drugs, and the dogs will receive preventive care and be socialized so they can be adopted after the studies end. The proposed trial, which is open for comment for 60 days, will involve testing drugs in three canine cohorts, then comparing concentrations in blood samples with those of dogs treated with a similar, approved drug.
HealthDay News (11/16) 
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Research chimpanzees collateral damage in political fight
The Humane Society of the United States claims to want to protect chimpanzees, but a recent blog post from the group's acting CEO contains dangerous errors and omissions about chimpanzees that have been retired from medical research. Though some chimpanzees may survive being moved to a sanctuary, others are too old or infirm; they would be at risk of contracting infectious diseases; moving some will splinter family and social groups; and a sanctuary's habitats are neither large enough nor diverse enough to handle an influx of chimpanzees. Therefore, some chimpanzees would fare much better if they retire in place.
Speaking of Research (11/14) 
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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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