Veterinarians at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine are partnering with their colleagues at the university's Comprehensive Cancer Center on treatments for canine cancers, and those studies are likely to benefit people as well as pets. A growing number of veterinary medicine schools across the US are forming similar partnerships, and clinical trials involving pets are becoming more sophisticated, the researchers say.
As Congress debates budgetary priorities for 2018, 88 patient advocacy organizations representing millions of patients took out a full-page ad urging the public to support biomedical research, writes Dr. Claire Pomeroy, president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation and FBR board chairwoman. Political support for biomedical research is growing, but support also "must come from all of us who benefit personally, and whose loved ones benefit, from the advances achieved through medical research," Pomeroy writes.
Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young won the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their research on circadian rhythms, the period gene and the role of proteins in biological rhythms in Drosophila. The three "solved the mystery of how an inner clock in most of our cells in our bodies can anticipate daily fluctuations between night and day to optimize our behavior and physiology," Nobel Assembly and Nobel Committee Secretary General Thomas Perlmann said in a statement.
Researchers covered a gold nanoparticle with CRISPR-Cas9-modified DNA to nonvirally repair a mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy in mice. To perform the nonviral delivery method, dubbed CRISPR-Gold, "you have to provide the cell [with] the Cas9 enzyme, guide RNA by which you target Cas9 to a particular part of the genome, and a big chunk of DNA, which will be used as a template to edit the mutant sequence to wild-type," said Irina Conboy, co-author of the study published in Nature Biomedical Engineering.
Scientists are developing miniature organs for drug testing with the ultimate goal of creating a cross-functional body-on-a-chip, which would vastly reduce the need for animals in research, says Danilo Tagle, associate director for special initiatives at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Although practical application of the idea is years off, some organ-on-a-chip studies have already advanced scientific knowledge, researchers say.
Biomedical researchers suggested that housing laboratory animals in conditions that more closely approximate their natural habitats would yield more useful study results, and the scientific community has since debated not only the merits but also the logistics of the proposal. "The more you can respect the biology, the behavior, and what a mouse needs, the better you're going to find your results in terms of getting honest answers about the translatability of your work to the human platform," said lab animal veterinarian Kathleen Pritchett-Corning, who suggests small changes such as cages with hiding places.
The World Health Organization organized a meeting of experts to collaborate on preventing Middle East respiratory syndrome, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is expected to announce which of a dozen human vaccine candidates it will fund. The virus appears to have emerged sometime around 1983 in single-humped camels, and experts say stopping its spread in the animals is key, but although one camel vaccine is undergoing field testing, another has not been funded.
Hurricane Maria hit the island of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico, hard, devastating research labs where scientists arrive each day from Punta Santiago to study the island's population of rhesus monkeys. Scientists are determining how many monkeys survived the storm and have set up crowdfunding sites to restore the water and food supplies for human and nonhuman residents.
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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.