Stem-cell treatment in monkeys with Parkinson's shows promise | Lasker Award honors HPV breakthrough | Modified Zika virus targets glioblastoma cells in experiments
September 6, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
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Stem-cell treatment in monkeys with Parkinson's shows promise
Stem-cell treatment in monkeys with Parkinson's shows promise
(Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)
An experimental stem-cell treatment for Parkinson's disease has shown promise in a trial conducted on monkeys with a type of the disease, a study published in Nature suggests. Neurons created from stem cells were implanted in the brains of the test monkeys, who showed improvement in their symptoms, and researchers say the effort paves the way for clinical trials on human patients.
Nature (free content) (8/30) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Lasker Award honors HPV breakthrough
Douglas Lowy and John Schiller, researchers at the National Cancer Institute, will share a Lasker Award for translational work that started with a bovine virus, research that ultimately led to the development of the human papillomavirus vaccine. Molecular biologist Michael Hall also received a Lasker Award, given for Hall's research on the role of TOR proteins in controlling cell growth.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/6),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/6) 
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Modified Zika virus targets glioblastoma cells in experiments
Researchers reported in The Journal of Experimental Medicine that they used the Zika virus' affinity for brain cells to destroy glioblastoma stem cells. A modified strain of Zika virus slowed brain tumor growth in mice, and a weak, naturally occurring strain of Zika virus also specifically targeted and killed glioblastoma stem cells.
HealthDay News (9/5),  BBC (9/5) 
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Scientists say senolytic drugs ready for human testing
Scientists say senolytic drugs ready for human testing
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
New drugs that kill senescent cells associated with age-related chronic conditions are ready to move from animal to human clinical trials, according to researchers who suggested possible clinical trial targets in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Senolytic drugs have reduced symptoms of frailty, extended healthy life spans and improved vascular health in mouse studies, and evidence regarding their efficacy in humans could be less than two years off.
CNN (9/5) 
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Cells from young rats boost older rats' exercise capacity
A study published in the European Heart Journal showed that cardiosphere-derived cells from newborn rats injected into the hearts of older rats increased the older rats' exercise capacity, hair regrowth and telomere length. Clinical trials are underway in people who have suffered a heart attack and in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model) (8/29) 
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How genetic battles affect intraspecies reproduction
Animals compete on a genetic level over how much each parent contributes to raising young, write Constantino de Jesus Macias Garcia, director of the Ecology Institute at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Michael Ritchie, professor of evolutionary biology and speciation at Scotland's University of St. Andrews. For example, males of some species pass along genes to their offspring that are modified to induce extra growth at the expense of the mother, but females counterbalance the extra growth by passing on silenced copies of their own growth genes.
The Conversation (US) (9/4) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Pets gain prominence in translational medicine studies
Pets gain prominence in translational medicine studies
(Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Veterinary and human medicine researchers increasingly collaborate on translational studies of diseases that affect both people and companion animals, including heart disease, obesity, osteosarcoma and canine degenerative myelopathy, which is similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, veterinarian Carol Robertson-Plouch said in a presentation at a veterinary medicine conference. Drug discovery in pets that live alongside people and develop naturally occurring diseases is often cost-effective and beneficial to animals and people, Robertson-Plouch said.
American Veterinarian (9/1) 
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Policy News
Experienced labs were prepared for Harvey
Biomedical research facilities in Houston took protective measures after Tropical Storm Allison flooded the city in 2001, including the installation of walls, special doors and floodgates that saved equipment and animals during storm Harvey. Laboratories nationwide have offered animal care, computing time, lab space and research space to those affected by the storm using the Twitter hashtag #SciHelpTX.
Nature (free content) (9/1) 
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FBR News
FBR paper: The Critical Role of Nonhuman Primates in Medical Research
FBR paper: The Critical Role of Nonhuman Primates in Medical Research
FBR's NHP White Paper has now been published with Pathogens and Immunity, making it available on PubMed, PubMed Central, Google Scholar, and the Directory of Open Access Journals.

FBR expresses its deepest gratitude to the American Physiological Society, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Transplant Foundation, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Society for Microbiology, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Endocrine Society and the numerous scientific experts who made this paper possible.

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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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