Animal research: The foundation of public health studies and interventions | Mouse genome project yields potentially actionable data | Researchers aim to improve success rate in antibiotic development
June 28, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
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Animal research: The foundation of public health studies and interventions
Animal research: The foundation of public health studies and interventions
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Public health researcher Audrey Buelo is working to identify the factors that contribute to prescription nonadherence in children with asthma, and she writes that animal research is the foundation on which all of her applied research is built. "Without animal research, asthma management would likely rely on alternative medications that offer little in the way in relief; without effective treatment, applied asthma research would focus only on prevention," she writes.
Speaking of Research (6/26) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Mouse genome project yields potentially actionable data
Mouse genome project yields potentially actionable data
An international team of researchers published an analysis of 3,328 mouse genes in Nature Genetics in the first phase of an initiative to catalog the entire murine genome. By disabling genes one at a time and analyzing the effects, the researchers discovered functions for more than 1,000 genes and identified new models for 360 human diseases.
The Scientist online (6/26) 
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Researchers aim to improve success rate in antibiotic development
Scientists report in EBioMedicine that adding sodium bicarbonate to the standard in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility test more closely mimics naturally occurring infectious conditions, potentially leading to more accurate identification of antibiotics in laboratories that are also effective in humans. Some antibiotics that failed in standard AST succeeded in the enhanced test and in mouse models, while some antibiotics that succeeded in standard AST failed in the enhanced test and mouse models, the researchers reported.
Bloomberg (6/27) 
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Study finds numerous sex-based differences in lab mice
Preclinical drug research should involve male and female animals to account for sex-based variations, researcher Natasha Karp and her colleagues at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute suggested in Nature Communications. They identified sex differences in 57% of quantifiable traits and 10% of qualitative traits in lab mice and found that male and female mice had different responses to the inactivation of genes.
New Scientist (free content) (6/26),  Reuters (6/26) 
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Researchers work to pinpoint compound behind tick bite meat allergy
Researchers work to pinpoint compound behind tick bite meat allergy
(Getty Images/Getty Images)
Scott Commins was part of the research team that pinpointed Lone Star tick bites as the source of sudden red-meat allergies and identified galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or alpha-gal, antibodies as a possible culprit. Commins is testing the effects of various Lone Star tick saliva extracts on mice to identify which ones trigger the reaction, a project that may gain importance as the tick expands its range.
Wired online (6/17) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Study explores site, species of next spillover event
Study explores site, species of next spillover event
(Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
Researchers at the EcoHealth Alliance who used data on 754 mammalian species and nearly 600 viruses to model the source and location of potential spillover events, finding that bats in South and Central America carry the most zoonotic viruses and likely harbor the greatest number of undiscovered zoonoses. Primates and rodents rank second and third as potential disease reservoirs, according to the study, whose authors point to human habitat encroachment as a key cause of spillovers.
Gizmodo (6/22),  BBC (6/23) 
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Rising pet weights coincide with higher incidence of canine arthritis
Rising pet weights coincide with higher incidence of canine arthritis
(Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
One-third of the pets treated at a Banfield Pet Hospital last year was overweight or obese, and the trend coincides with higher rates of arthritis and tracheal collapse in dogs, says veterinarian Kirk Breuninger, veterinary research associate with Banfield. Although genetics, thyroid disease and intestinal worms could contribute, overfeeding and underexercising pets are driving the increase, Dr. Breuninger says, and regardless of the cause, pet owners who work with a veterinarian can help their pets get healthier.
USA Today (6/27),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (6/27) 
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Experimental bone-growing tech saves dog's leg
Veterinarians at the University of Glasgow in Scotland saved a 2-year-old dog's leg from amputation by employing a radical technique in development to help land-mine victims. The successful procedure involved mixing bone chips with a protein-rich formula including BMP-2 to spur bone growth, and it had not previously been tested in dogs or humans.
BBC (6/23) 
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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.
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