A Lyme disease vaccine developed for humans with contributions from rheumatologist Allen Steere in the late 1990s showed 80% efficacy, but it was taken off the market after some consumers complained about side effects, though no scientific evidence linking patient symptoms to the vaccine was found. Dogs are often vaccinated against the disease, and Steere says it is time to rethink the availability of the vaccine for humans.
Botanist Constant Ahoua is studying food eaten by wild chimpanzees in Cote d'Ivoire to identify compounds with potentially medicinal properties, and he and his colleagues have found seven compounds that appear to inhibit enzymes associated with cancer as well as others that have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Elephants, wild boar, cats and dogs are among the animals that turn to vegetation for healing, and studying the ways in which they do so has long shed light on medicinal plants.
An experimental drug was effective in mice against coronaviruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome, researchers report in Science Translational Medicine, and the drug is also being tested against Ebola virus. Researchers will continue to use the compound "as a probe to try to understand the biology of the virus, how and why this drug works, and to identify new targets for inhibiting coronaviruses," said Vanderbilt University professor Mark Denison.
At the University of Wisconsin at Madison's Comparative Ocular Pathology Laboratory, researchers have amassed more than 56,000 animal-eye specimens to aid in animal-vision research, many submitted by veterinarians seeking assistance with diagnoses, but the team is always looking for more. One current project includes studying the effect of the Zika virus on developing eyes, said lab director Leandro Teixeira.
A new technique known as ultrafast scanning fluorescence correlation spectroscopy has given researchers a new window into the inner workings of membraneless organelles taken from roundworms, finding a surprisingly sparse, flaccid structure. The findings lay the groundwork for exploring regulatory mechanisms, and if successful, "the impact could be transformative: It's not just cancer, it's neurodegeneration, about developmental disorders, and even the fundamentals of cell biology," said researcher Rohit Pappu.
Scientists are seeking permission to grow organoids derived from the cells of all 1,500 people in the Netherlands who have cystic fibrosis so they assess treatment efficacy, allowing doctors to give drugs only to people whose disease is likely to respond. The model could be used to test other drugs for diseases caused by specific genetic mutations.
University of Pennsylvania veterinarian Kimberly Agnello recommends owners manage canine arthritis pain by keeping pets at a healthy weight, but rehabilitative exercise and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including the recently approved grapiprant are also important tools for managing pain, writes veterinarian Sarah Wooten. Agnello sees translational medicine as a promising source of arthritis treatments for animals and humans, with ongoing research exploring procedures that resurface cartilage, partial-joint replacements, ligament transplant, treatment to improve cartilage blood supply and a pain-relief compound known as resiniferatoxin.
Researchers from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine have found the rat lungworm parasite in five Florida counties, according to a paper published in PLOS ONE, and parasitologist Heather Walden says people should take precautions including diligent washing of produce. The parasite can cause meningitis in humans and animals, and it is spread by rats and snails.
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