Vaccine blocks heroin high in non-human primates | Researchers develop new, longer-lasting insulin injection | Scientists study bat-borne coronaviruses
June 14, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
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Vaccine blocks heroin high in non-human primates
Vaccine blocks heroin high in non-human primates
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
A years-long effort at Scripps Research Institute to develop a vaccine that would block the "high" heroin users experience has been successful in non-human primates, marking the furthest advance yet in opioid vaccine development. The vaccine primes the immune system to neutralize heroin molecules so they do not interact with the brain to create a high, and researcher Kim Janda says he anticipates human trials are about two years off.
Mic (6/12),  U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (6/8) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Researchers develop new, longer-lasting insulin injection
Duke University researchers reported in Nature Biomedical Engineering that they have created a new, longer-lasting injectable insulin formulation that could improve safety and tolerability. Researchers found the novel drug-delivery mechanism regulated blood glucose levels for 10 days in mice and more than 14 days in rhesus monkeys after a single injection.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (6/6) 
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Scientists study bat-borne coronaviruses
Scientists study bat-borne coronaviruses.
(Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)
A five-year study across 20 nations on three continents revealed that bats carry a variety of coronaviruses, a group of diseases that includes severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome, with the highest number of coronaviruses concentrated in areas with the highest number of bat species. "Charting the geographic and genetic diversity of coronaviruses in animals is a critical first step towards understanding and anticipating which specific viruses could pose a threat to human health," said Simon Anthony, first author on the study published in Virus Evolution.
HealthDay News (6/12) 
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Running reduces size, number of bone marrow fat cells in obese mice
Running shrank the size of fat cells inside the bone marrow of both obese and lean mice, increased bone density in both and reduced the number of fat cells in the obese mice's bones by more than half. The findings, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, might lay the groundwork for developing bone-preserving therapies for people with arthritis, anorexia, diabetes and long-term steroid use, the researchers said.
HealthDay News (6/9) 
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Studying deer antlers might inform human tissue regeneration therapies
Studying deer antlers might inform human tissue regeneration therapies.
(Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Bucks shed and grow new antlers every year, siphoning bone from the skeletal system in a process called cyclical reversible osteoporosis and expending nearly as much energy as gestating does. Scientists studying deer antler growth hope to apply their findings to human nerve and tissue grafting and regeneration.
Smithsonian online (6/12) 
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How snake cells might lead to new diabetes treatments
University of Alabama biology professor Stephen Secor studies snake pancreas physiology and applies what he learns to research on human diseases, including diabetes. During his studies, Secor found that exposure to snake blood stimulates human beta cell growth, and snakes' extreme response to feeding may inspire ways of remodeling human beta cells that can no longer release insulin.
The Tuscaloosa News (Ala.) (6/11) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Mammary tumors from dogs may shed light on breast cancer
Researchers who examined samples from the Institute of Veterinary Pathology report in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences that similar mechanisms underlie canine mammary cancer and human breast cancer, and the information may help scientists find treatments for both species. In humans and dogs, some tumor cells recruit neighboring healthy cells to do their bidding, supporting growth of the cancer, the study found.
United Press International (6/6) 
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Researcher investigates whether dogs are sentinel species for Lyme disease
Researcher investigates whether dogs are sentinel species for Lyme disease.
(Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Eleven veterinary clinics across the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island are participating in a study led by Mount Allison University master's degree student Alexandra Foley-Eby to collect and test ticks for Lyme disease. Foley-Eby is also testing healthy dogs' blood and hopes to use the data to predict the incidence of Lyme disease in humans.
CBC News (Canada) (6/7) 
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Policy News
NIH introduces fund to help younger researchers
The NIH will jettison its planned cap on how many grants a researcher can have at one time and will instead put $210 million to start into a special fund to benefit early and mid-career researchers. The NIH hopes the Next Generation Researchers Initiative will help reduce the average age of supported scientists.
Nature (free content) (6/8) 
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