Animal tissue database designed to facilitate sharing | Monkey studies suggest diet, caloric intake affect longevity | How elephants could be cancer's worst nightmare
January 18, 2017
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Animal tissue database designed to facilitate sharing
Valerie Speirs, a professor of experimental pathology and oncology at the University of Leeds, and her colleagues have developed a free online prototype database that scientists can use to find and share tissues developed through animal research on breast cancer. "By facilitating a mechanism of sharing, leftover animal material may serve the wider research community at the conclusion of a project, saving researchers time and money, and providing scientists with new opportunities to broaden the impact of their work," Speirs writes.
The Scientist online (1/16) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Monkey studies suggest diet, caloric intake affect longevity
Restricting calories extended longevity in monkeys and improved their health, and the results are likely to apply to people as well, according to scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the National Institute on Aging. Two studies have yielded conflicting results, but the studies were designed differently, and the new analysis confirmed that caloric restriction is beneficial in adults but not in the young.
Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) (1/18) 
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How elephants could be cancer's worst nightmare
How elephants could be cancer's worst nightmare.
(Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images)
Pediatric oncologist Josh Schiffman discovered that elephants, which rarely get cancer, have 40 copies of the gene that encodes tumor-suppressing protein p53, and the elephant form of the protein is stronger than the p53 found in humans. Laboratory testing with the protein found it readily kills lung, breast, bone and other types of cancer cells, and Schiffman hopes to re-create the results using an engineered p53 packaged in nanoparticles for treatment of cancer in mice and pet dogs, then eventually humans.
The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (1/17) 
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Biobeads carrying tuberculosis antigens provoke immune response in mice
A vaccine containing biobeads engineered to carry antigens from Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Mycobacterium bovis on their surface induced cell-mediated immune responses in laboratory mice, researchers reported in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The research could lead to a new vaccine for tuberculosis.
United Press International (1/13) 
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Predatory behavior triggered in mice when brains stimulated by laser light
Stimulating the amygdala of a mouse's brain with a special laser light can spark aggressive predatory behavior, according to findings published in Cell. A virus that made mice brains responsive to blue light was introduced to the rodents, and when the light was switched on, scientists observed that the mice would hunt anything placed before them, from bottle caps to crickets, and even exhibit hunting behavior when nothing was around.
Nature (free content) (1/12) 
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Study: Stem-cell procedure restores vision in blind mice
New retina tissue created from stem cells helped blind mice regain vision, according to a study published in Stem Cell Reports. Over 40% of mice with end-stage retinal degeneration were able to see light following the procedure.
LiveScience.com (1/11) 
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Other News
Animal Health
New program targets improvements in captive elephant care
More than 40 zoos in the US are participating in the Elephant Welfare Initiative, a data-driven program that captures and shares information about the elephants' daily activities and health, data that are used to inform recommendations for health and enrichment. Keepers get real-time, practical responses they can implement right away, such as creating puzzles for female elephants to improve fertility. Veterinarian Cheryl Meehan collaborated on the research that serves as the program's backbone.
National Public Radio (1/11) 
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Policy News
Data-sharing initiatives aim to speed results, cut waste
Researchers increasingly share data across institutions in an effort to reduce testing on nonhuman primates and accelerate biomedical advances. Studies involving nonhuman primates have produced significant advances in fighting AIDS, Parkinson's and other diseases, and experts say data-sharing initiatives should reduce duplication, allow analysis of existing data for new purposes and increase transparency.
Scientific American magazine (2/2017) 
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