Why nonhuman primates are crucial to brain research | Gene-editing method could treat sickle cell disease, study suggests | Study: Crohn's disease drug studied against HIV
October 19, 2016
FBR Smartbrief
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Why nonhuman primates are crucial to brain research
Why nonhuman primates are crucial to brain research.
(Philippe Merle/AFP/Getty Images)
Nonhuman primates are vital to biomedical research because their central nervous systems mirror the human CNS in ways other animals' systems do not, say neuroscientists Andrew Jackson and more than 600 scientists who signed a letter supporting nonhuman primate research. Animals that are unhappy or anxious do not make good test subjects, Jackson says, and researchers ensure the primates' living conditions are healthy.
BBC (10/18) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Gene-editing method could treat sickle cell disease, study suggests
Scientists have corrected the gene mutation that causes sickle cell disease using the CRISPR-Cas9 system in human cells and successfully transferred them to mice, according to findings published in Science Translational Medicine. "What we have right now, if we can scale it up and make sure it works well, is already enough to form the basis of a clinical trial to cure sickle cell disease with gene editing," said Mark DeWitt, who led the study.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (10/12) 
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Study: Crohn's disease drug studied against HIV
Research in the journal Science found that Crohn's disease drug Entyvio, or vedolizumab, reduced simian immunodeficiency virus in macaques to virtually undetectable levels for up to nine months following a halt to antiretroviral therapy. Scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are planning an early-stage clinical trial among up to 20 people.
STAT (10/13),  ScienceMag.org (10/13) 
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Scientists coax mouse fibroblasts to become viable eggs
Scientists coax mouse fibroblasts to become viable eggs.
(Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)
Researchers report in Nature that they took fibroblasts from the tail of an adult mouse and reprogrammed the cells to develop into eggs, which grew into healthy mice after fertilization. The experiment might improve research and lead to treatments for infertility, the researchers said.
Nature (free content) (10/17),  ScientificAmerican.com (10/17),  Science News (10/17) 
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Treatment for common cold might impede bladder cancer metastasis
Flufenamic acid -- an inexpensive nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug used in Europe to treat the common cold -- suppressed metastasis of bladder cancer cells and reduced chemoresistance in mice, according to a study published in Scientific Reports.
United Press International (10/17),  The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (10/18) 
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Study: Insulin metabolism may affect wound healing
Slow metabolism of insulin affects cells surrounding an epidermal wound, and drugs that locally stimulate insulin metabolism might encourage wound healing in people with diabetes, researchers reported in Nature. The study, in fruit fly larvae, showed that impaired insulin metabolism results in a weaker, slower-forming actomyosin cable around wounds, causing slow or incomplete healing.
Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.) (10/13) 
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Oxidized coenzyme slows cellular aging in animal models
The oxidized form of the coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide reduced the severity of ataxia telangiectasia neuropathology, improved neuromuscular function, postponed memory loss and lengthened life span in mouse and roundworm models, researchers reported in Cell Metabolism. Therapies that increase intracellular NAD+ could improve DNA repair and culling of defective mitochondria, the researchers wrote, offering potential for treatment of diseases and disorders associated with aging and neurodegeneration.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/17) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Sea lions and humans may benefit from epilepsy drug trials
Sea lions and humans may benefit from epilepsy drug trials.
(Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images)
Sea lions off the coast of California often develop domoic acid poisoning when warmer waters promote algal blooms that contaminate the sea lions' food source. Affected animals can have many neurologic signs including severe seizures, so veterinarian Padraig Duignan and Stanford University researchers may conduct epilepsy drug trials on the sea lions to try to help the animals and humans with epilepsy.
KNTV-TV (San Francisco) (10/18) 
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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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