Animal researchers come through in animals' times of need | Naturally occurring disease in monkeys may pave way for pediatric gene therapy | Scientists take a leap toward lifelike model of rat, human hearts
North Dakota State University's animal scientists and experts are resources for not only for anyone in the region involved in agriculture but also for taxpayers, and research conducted at the university improves animal health and saves animals' lives, writes Kathryn Pinke, publisher and general manager of Agweek. People, animals and those who care for animals experience adverse and negative events, Pinke writes, adding, "We learn from the experience and work to improve how we care for animals in the future."
Researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center reported in Neurobiology of Disease that animals in a population of Japanese macaques naturally carry a CLN7 gene mutation that causes a form of Batten disease, a class of fatal pediatric neurodegenerative conditions. The mutation interferes with the function of cellular lysosomes, allowing a buildup of waste that leads to degeneration, and the discovery of a naturally occurring model of the disease in non-human primates might speed up development and testing of gene therapies, lead author Jodi McBride and co-author Trevor McGill said.
Harvard University scientists have bioengineered a 3D model of the human heart's left ventricle, which could bring a lifelike model of the heart closer to fruition. The scientists spun biodegradable polyester and gelatin fibers on a bullet-shaped rotating collector and seeded the nanofiber scaffolds with human heart cells, then cultured the ventricle with cardiomyocytes from either rats or humans. The result was a beating model that could help scientists replace or supplement animal models, and create personalized models for individual patients.
Brain activity patterns connected to anxiety are passed on from monkey parents to their offspring, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, and researchers say this could also be true for humans. "These findings are highly relevant to children with pathological anxiety and hold the promise to guide the development of new treatment approaches," said study author Dr. Ned Kalin.
Endocannabinoid epoxides molecules that form when the body metabolizes omega-3 fatty acids had an antiproliferative effect on metastasized osteosarcoma, according to a professor of comparative biosciences and a professor of veterinary clinical medicine who led a study the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in mouse models. The researchers reported in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry that mice with metastasized osteosarcoma tumors in their lungs had significantly higher levels of the EDP-EAs, which the study found appear to slow tumor progression by inhibiting new blood vessel growth.
Researchers at Kyoto University said they will initiate clinical trials to test the efficacy of transplanting human induced pluripotent stem cells into the brain to treat Parkinson's disease patients. The procedure restored brain function in non-human primates in studies last year.
Donors to the Morris Animal Foundation-backed Golden Retriever Lifetime Study -- a 14-year, $32 million study of cancer in golden retrievers -- include foundations, corporations, veterinary hospitals and clinics, breed clubs and individuals. The study, begun in 2012, has a 98% retention rate, and study participants are among the most dedicated fundraisers, says Morris communications director Carol Borchert.
New draft guidance from the FDA describes the evidence needed to demonstrate efficacy of drugs and biologics for rare, slowly progressive diseases caused by single-enzyme defects. The FDA recommends that sponsors conduct genetic tests in all clinical trial subjects, explains how to use clinical pharmacology as the main source of data to determine dosing, suggests appropriate use of animal models to provide evidence of enzyme activity and says evidence of substrate reduction should be generated in tissues where changes can be readily measured.
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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.