Interspecies studies help researchers understand cancer | Duchenne patient trains former research dog to help another DMD patient | Eye drop slows macular degeneration in rabbits, pigs
July 25, 2018
FBR Smartbrief
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Interspecies studies help researchers understand cancer
Interspecies studies help researchers understand cancer
Elephants are long-lived and have 100 times the number of cells people have, but cancer is a rarity in elephants, and researchers think that could be due to genetics, including the fact that elephants have 40 copies of the tumor-suppressing TP53 gene, compared with two copies in humans and most other animals. Scientists also are studying other animals that have low cancer rates, including mole rats, using data from zoos and veterinarians.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (7/21) 
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Duchenne patient trains former research dog to help another DMD patient
Texas resident Kyle Cox, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and his mother, Kristen Cox, spent the past nine months training a former Texas A&M University Duchenne research dog to become a service dog. The Coxes gave Astro to a 14-year-old boy who also has the disease.
The Eagle (Bryan, Texas) (7/21) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Eye drop slows macular degeneration in rabbits, pigs
An easy-to-use eye drop slowed age-related macular degeneration in rabbits and pigs and may be an alternative to injections, researchers reported in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. Clinical trials could begin next year.
FierceBiotech (7/19) 
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Artificial mouse embryo reaches gastrulation phase
An artificial mouse embryo, which was created in a lab by combining three types of stem cells, developed to the point of gastrulation, researchers reported in Nature Cell Biology. Artificial embryos may open avenues for research on human development, disease and why some pregnancies fail, researchers say.
The Irish News (Belfast, Northern Ireland) (7/23),  New Atlas (7/24) 
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Survivors' Ebola antibodies protect animals from infection
A study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and published in the journal Immunity found that antibodies from the blood of two Ebola survivors protected animals against three strains of the virus, blocking the virus from entering cells. The findings suggest that the antibodies could be used to develop an Ebola treatment, according to the study authors.
HealthDay News (7/20) 
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Scientists connect the dots in 3D image of fruit fly's brain
Researchers can trace neuronal connections throughout a new 3D image of a fruit fly's brain and can compare those connections with other species' brain networks. The image, which shows features of individual synapses, will allow researchers to link neuronal circuits with specific behavior, and data from the image, published in Cell, is freely available to the research community.
Science (free content) (7/19),  Nature (free content) (7/19) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Applying knowledge of human mental health might help NHPs
Scientists have learned much about human psychopathology by studying non-human primates, and veterinarian Maya Kummrow recently asserted in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine that applying knowledge about human psychopathology to NHPs could improve the health of NHPs in sanctuaries and rehabilitation facilities and boost conservation efforts. "Animal trainers or behavioral specialists, human psychiatrists, animal care staff, biologists and veterinarians should work together to create a diagnostic procedure as unbiased and objective as possible, plan for further interventions and reevaluate the outcome," Kummrow said.
Mongabay (7/18) 
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Veterinarians at Purdue replace cat's hip
Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital surgeon Mark Rochat led a hip-replacement operation on a Bengal cat that had suffered multiple fractures. Veterinarians have been performing hip replacements in large dogs for nearly four decades, which has informed human hip replacement, and technological advances have enabled veterinarians to perform the procedure in small animals, Dr. Rochat said.
WLFI-TV (West Lafayette, Ind.) (7/18) 
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