Research in nonhuman primates is critical to medical progress | DNA vaccine against Zika virus shows promise in animal study | Bioengineered blood vessels grew properly when transplanted into lambs
September 28, 2016
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Research in nonhuman primates is critical to medical progress
Research in nonhuman primates is critical to medical progress
(John Moore/Getty Images)
Studies involving nonhuman primates have yielded vaccines and treatments for polio, mumps, measles, yellow fever, anthrax, hepatitis B, cancer and more, writes FBR President Frankie L. Trull, and now primate research has provided a foundation for human trials of a Zika virus vaccine. Nonhuman primates are irreplaceable in the research setting, and promising science would grind to a halt were researchers banned from working with primate models, Trull writes.
Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (9/23) 
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DNA vaccine against Zika virus shows promise in animal study
A DNA-based vaccine candidate for the Zika virus has entered human safety trials after protecting monkeys from the virus in a study from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The results were reported in the journal Science.
HealthDay News (9/22) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Bioengineered blood vessels grew properly when transplanted into lambs
Blood vessels made from fibroblasts and fibrin grew in sync with the three lambs into which the vessels were transplanted, replacing part of the lambs' pulmonary arteries, scientists reported in Nature Communications. If bioengineered arteries can be made from human cells and behave similarly, children with congenital heart defects might be able to forgo multiple open-heart surgeries, study coauthor Robert Tranquillo said.
Popular Science (9/27) 
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Stem cell therapy shows promise in relieving pain after spinal cord injury
Neurons grown from human embryonic stem cells and injected into the spines of mice with spinal cord injuries eased the animals' neuropathy and incontinence, according to a study published in Cell Stem Cell. The cells matured, migrated from the injection site to the injury site and formed connections with the animals' spinal cords.
San Jose Mercury News (Calif.) (free registration) (9/25),  New Atlas (9/23) 
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Circadian rhythm gene linked to breast cancer metastasis
Circadian rhythm gene linked to breast cancer metastasis.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A gene related to circadian rhythm has been linked to the spread of an aggressive form of breast cancer in mice, suggesting that sleep problems could hasten the disease's progression, according to findings published in PLOS Genetics. "The fact that inherited variations in this gene seem to be associated with progression of cancer raises the possibility that disruptions to normal circadian rhythms might have an effect [on metastasis]," said Kent Hunter, an author of the study.
New Scientist (free content) (9/22) 
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Animal studies to test stem cell heart patches
Researchers with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Duke University are preparing a seven-year study to test stem cell-based patches of cardiac muscle tissue for the repair of heart damage in mice and pigs. The patches will include cardiomyocytes, fibroblasts and endothelial cells.
United Press International (9/23) 
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Compound might have protective effect on the brain
Mice fed a nicotine-water solution ate less food, put on less weight and had more brain receptors than mice that drank regular water. The findings suggest that nicotine in non-tobacco form might protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
KTRK-TV (Houston)/The Associated Press (9/21),  Nature World News (9/22) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Autistic-like behavior in monkeys might shed light on ASD in humans
Researchers in Japan say they observed a monkey displaying behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder, including repetition, social withdrawal and an inability to modify behavior in response to the actions of others monkeys. The study, published in Science Advances, might help researchers trace and define ASD causes and possibilities for treatment.
Nature World News (9/24) 
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Other News
Policy News
Scientists in Spain aim to improve public understanding of animal research
Ninety scientific centers, societies, universities and companies in Spain adopted standards from the Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies for communicating about their use of laboratory animals. The signatories pledged to be open about how and why they use animals in research in an effort to help the public better understand the benefits and limitations of animal research and how they prioritize ethics and animal welfare.
ScienceMag.org (9/21) 
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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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