Celebrity zookeeper says he wouldn't be around without animal research | Measles outbreak spotlights just how much we need animal research | Studying lemur torpor could improve cardiac surgery, space travel
Celebrity zookeeper Jack Hanna started sweeping the floors at a veterinarian's office when he was 12, watched veterinary surgeries at 16 and started offering educational programs after becoming director at Columbus Zoo. Hanna is an animal advocate whose love for both people and animals make him a supporter of animal research. "Older people like me would not be here without animal research," he says.
Research involving animals has resulted in developments that transformed human health, such as vaccines against smallpox, polio and measles, and the current measles outbreak is shining a spotlight on how important biomedical research is to public health today. Animals themselves also benefit from such research, such as cats, which benefit from a highly effective feline leukemia vaccine, and dogs, which benefit from life-extending bone cancer treatment. Animal rights extremists fail to recognize these benefits and the widespread suffering that can be prevented through responsible biomedical science.
Humans and fat-tailed dwarf lemurs have genes in common that enable the lemurs to enter a state of torpor for six months each year, though it is unknown whether humans also have the needed biological mechanisms for torpor. Enabling humans to enter a state of torpor would improve the safety of cardiac surgery, help people overcome some diseases and improve space travel, says biologist Peter Klopfer, who studies lemur hibernation.
Scientists used a solvent to make organs transparent, scanned the organs with a laser microscope to document blood vessels and individual cells, created a scaffold, then used 3D bioprinting to inject stem cells into the appropriate positions on the scaffold to make the organs functional. Researchers will test the organs in animals before initiating human clinical trials.
The drug fostamatinib inhibited spleen tyrosine kinase proteins in metastatic breast cancer cells in mice, putting cancer into remission, researchers reported in Cancer Research. Fostamatinib is already approved, has a positive safety profile and could be used to induce dormancy in other cancers that expresses SYK, lead researcher Michael Wendt says.
Scientists fed 38 female monkeys either a typical Western diet or a typical Mediterranean diet for 38 months and allowed them to eat as much as they wanted. The Western diet group ate a higher volume of food and had higher body fat percentage, insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis at 2.5 years, while the Mediterranean diet group had lower triglyceride levels than at baseline, researchers reported in Obesity.
A robotic catheter was able to navigate its way to leaky heart valves in pigs, enabling surgeons to focus on more critical tasks, through the use of an optical touch sensor with artificial intelligence and image processing algorithms.
The team found the time it took to reach the target leaks was similar to a joystick-controlled robot or a hand tool.
More than a million pigs in China have been culled since African swine fever was detected in the northeastern city of Shenyang in August, costing the economy tens of millions of dollars and sparking fears of a shortage of heparin, which is derived from pig intestines. The Chinese government has allocated about $15 million for research on possible treatments and vaccines, but some experts warn that political and economic pressure could exacerbate the situation if a vaccine is released too soon.
Nearly 200,000 virus species live in the world's oceans, with the most diverse communities in temperate and tropical surface waters and in the Arctic Ocean, according to a study published in Cell that may help scientists understand marine ecosystems as ocean temperatures rise. Most of the viruses found are not harmful to humans, but they can infect marine mammals, crustaceans and bacteria, researchers say.
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I'd rather lose all my stuff than lose myself, because I've done that before, and that feels way worse.
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.