Three Zika virus vaccines are moving into human trials after eliciting immune responses in monkeys. One is a purified inactivated virus vaccine developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; the others are DNA vaccines. "The fact that they work in nonhuman primates will really wake the field up, because typically that means, whoa, we're very close now to potentially work in humans," said Col. Nelson Michael, director of Walter Reed's HIV research program.
The Disease Biophysics Group at Harvard University created more than 200 translucent, penny-sized stingrays with silicone fins and skeletons of gold layered with genetically engineered rat heart muscle cells, and they were able to guide the rays with a blinking blue flashlight. The project gives insight into how the human heart works and might be a step toward developing an artificial heart.
A research team from Maine's MDI Biological Laboratory, which studied limb regeneration in fish and amphibians, has discovered the genetic signature behind the regeneration. The team believes it may one day be possible for humans to regrow limbs, according to the research published in PLOS ONE.
A new drug tested in mice has shown promise in treating three dangerous infections caused by similar parasites, according to findings published in Nature. Researchers are beginning safety tests ahead of human trials for GNF6702 to treat Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness.
Tiny, wireless sensors implanted in the nerves and muscles of rats transmitted data about how well the tissues were functioning, and similar sensors implanted in people could allow doctors to assess organ health, develop treatments for neurological conditions and control prosthetic limbs.
Creating microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, nonthermal electric fields at the site of burn wounds in rats prevented the proliferation of collagen cells that cause scarring, and the process did not reinjure the wound. Lead author Alexander Goldberg said the technology might prevent debilitating burn scars from forming in people.
Scientists studying dogs bred, raised and trained at a center in England report in Scientific Reports that sperm motility has declined 30% over the past 26 years in all five breeds studied, and chemical exposure could explain the change. The mortality rate of female puppies increased threefold between 1994 and 2014, and the incidence of undescended testicles increased 10-fold, the researchers reported. The findings might have implications for humans, who have also experienced a decline in sperm quality and an increase in genital tract abnormalities and testicular cancer.
According to a report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Streptococcus zooepidemicus may have been passed from a horse to its 71-year-old rider, possibly contributing to the woman's death. The woman and her daughter developed symptoms after close contact with a horse treated for eye and nasal discharge.
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