The Foundation for Biomedical Research is highlighting the myriad ways in which laboratory research involving animals helps pets, wildlife and other animals in the new "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" campaign. "This campaign was created to show the public, especially pet owners, that if you love animals it's another reason to support animal research," said FBR President Matthew R. Bailey.
Scientists at Cornell and Tufts universities are using a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the NIH to study immunotherapy in pet dogs with lymphoma. The dogs receive the same kind of care a human patient would and "will benefit from our research just like people will," said Kristy Richards, associate professor of Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Michigan veterinarian and sheep farmer Heather Ludlam is raising sheep developed by South Dakota State University veterinary pathologist Larry Holler that lack an enzyme which breaks down GM1 ganglioside, a molecule deficient in people with Huntington's disease. The sheep produce 40 times more GM1 than normal, and neuroscientist Gary Dunbar says studies are underway to determine whether the ovine GM1 is safe to extract and try as a treatment for Huntington's disease.
Karsten Hueffer, a professor of veterinary microbiology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, led a study published in Scientific Reports that describes how glycoprotein on the rabies virus binds to receptors in the brain, causing frenzied behavior in the host animal. Future research could determine which receptor subtypes are involved, leading to potential treatment targets for the disease.
Mice without Alzheimer's diseases developed beta amyloid brain plaques after sharing a blood supply for a year with mice genetically engineered to produce high levels of the protein. The findings, published in Molecular Psychiatry, suggest that targeting the amyloid protein in the kidneys or liver could prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The PREDICT project, the Global Virome Project and similar initiatives aim to catalog viruses and predict future outbreaks, but the virosphere is simply too vast for the projects to be effective, virologists Jemma Geoghegan and Edward Holmes argue in Open Biology. Geoghegan says the most useful exercise is focusing on "fault lines" where risk of crossover from animals to humans is highest, such as areas undergoing deforestation, animal markets and others.
Researchers reported in Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia that they found beta amyloid plaques and tau protein tangles in the brains of wild dolphins that had washed ashore dead, suggesting that Alzheimer's disease affects wild animals. The finding opens the possibility of studying the disease in more animals.
Safety inspectors in the Federal Select Agent Program are overworked, and biosafety precautions are so weak that people could have been exposed to ricin and live anthrax bacteria, the Government Accountability Office reported to Congress. The GAO suggests focusing more on biosafety, setting up an independent oversight body and conducting a comprehensive risk management review.
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There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.
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.