The Foundation for Biomedical Research's "Love Animals? Support Animal Research" campaign, supported by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, highlights how animal research has led to innovations that help sick and injured companion animals. FBR President Matthew R. Bailey points out that animals would lose valuable medical innovations if efforts to restrict or end medical research involving animals are successful.
Scientists who work with animals know that most medical breakthroughs have come from studies involving animals, but those scientists still struggle to talk with the general public about what they do, writes neuroscientist Ashley Juavinett. "The best thing scientists can do to grapple with the hidden weight of doing animal research is to talk more about how we conduct our work and how it makes us feel, both with other scientists as well as with civilians," Juavinett writes.
Scientists engineered primate-derived hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells to express a type of chimeric antigen receptor and injected the cells into pigtail macaques that were infected with simian human immunodeficiency virus. According to research published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, the treated animals produced cytotoxic T-cells that targeted virus-infected cells, and the approach could be applied to HIV treatment in humans.
Common treatments for atherosclerosis are ineffective in treating calcific aortic valve disease because the conditions do not progress in the same way, researchers studying pig models found, and the findings could lay the groundwork for new therapies. Early CAVD is characterized by the accumulation of glycosaminoglycans in valve tissue, trapping low-density lipoprotein molecules and ultimately causing valve cell damage, the researchers found.
Scientist Michael Levin and his colleagues are trying to understand the exact role bioelectricity plays in the development of organisms and how to manipulate it, and they have used bioelectricity to change embryonic tissue from one type into another in tadpoles and flatworms. The work could lead to methods for reversing birth defects, cancer and degenerative diseases as well as regenerating tissue and possibly entire limbs.
Researchers working with rodents to develop a drug for kidney disease found that the compound effectively reduces hydrocephalus, or excess cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and have received a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Defense to study the condition and the drug.
The Ebola virus might be the most significant threat to the survival of great apes in West Africa, where populations are already stressed by habitat loss, poaching and the exotic pet trade. Scientists are developing an Ebola vaccine specifically for gorillas and chimpanzees and an effective delivery method to combat the threat.
The relationship between people and their pets is contributing to a pet obesity epidemic that is cutting short the lives of beloved pets, writes Deborah Linder, head of the Tufts Obesity Clinic for Animals at Tufts University. "Managing obesity in pets will require veterinarians, physicians and psychologists to work together," Dr. Linder writes.
For 35 years, FBR has advanced biomedical research for the sake of both human and animal health. We can't do our job without your support. Please give what you can. Together we will continue to make a difference.
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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.