End of NIH chimpanzee research may imperil great apes | Effects of Zika infection may depend on stage of pregnancy | Researchers still have great need for research on NHPs, NIH official says
February 22, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
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End of NIH chimpanzee research may imperil great apes
Wild great ape populations are endangered by infectious disease, and researcher Peter Walsh says the end of the NIH's chimpanzee research program is hampering conservationists' efforts to develop and test vaccines. Walsh's efforts to develop an oral vaccine for Ebola are complicated by the inability to test candidates in laboratory chimpanzees.
Scienceline (2/17) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Effects of Zika infection may depend on stage of pregnancy
Effects of Zika infection may depend on stage of pregnancy
(Angel Valentin/Getty Images)
The placentas in pregnant mice exposed to the Zika virus mounted stronger defenses against the virus as the pregnancies progressed, researchers reported in Nature Communications. Mice were less likely to miscarry when they were exposed to the virus at later stages.
HealthDay News (2/21) 
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Researchers still have great need for research on NHPs, NIH official says
Experts seeking cures for Parkinson's disease, AIDS and other diseases still have great need for research using nonhuman primates because adequate alternatives are not yet available, said Carrie Wolinetz, associate director for science policy at the NIH. Such research has led to a variety of vaccines and treatments, including recent advances on prosthetic limbs and a potential HIV vaccine that is now in human trials.
KNTV-TV (San Francisco) (2/17) 
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Researchers prowl rainforests to prevent the next pandemic
The University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the US government created the PREDICT project, a $200 million effort to find pandemic-potential viruses where they are endemic -- often in rainforests, which are hot spots because of their biodiversity. To date, PREDICT scientists have collected samples from over 74,000 animals worldwide and discovered almost 1,000 viruses in over 20 countries.
National Public Radio (2/14) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Camera footage provides look at wild dolphin behavior
Nearly nine hours of film from cameras suction-cupped to eight dusky dolphins has given researchers new insights about the mammals' bonding, recreational and social behavior. "This research opens up a whole new approach for capturing wild animal behavior, which will ultimately help us to not only advance conservation efforts but also come closer to understanding wild predators' and human nutrition, too," said researcher Gabriel Machovsky-Capuska.
United Press International (2/21),  ABC (Australia) (2/22) 
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Policy News
USDA restores some animal welfare info to website
The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service restored some documents that had been removed from its website, including reports of inspections at research institutions and some federal laboratories that work with animals. The removed records are being reviewed before being restored but are available through Freedom of Information Act requests, APHIS spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa said.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/17) 
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Funding declines for neglected diseases except Ebola
Global funding for research on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, malaria and other neglected diseases stood at just over $3 billion in 2015, which is lower than at any other time since 2007, according to an annual investment report from Policy Cures Research. The total does not include funding for studies on Ebola and other African viral hemorrhagic fevers, which rose to $631 million in 2015, primarily for vaccine research.
Nature (free content) (2/17) 
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Gates pushes for more diligence on bioterrorism threats
At the Munich Security Conference, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said the world is not prepared to deal with bioterrorism and deadly health threats such as Ebola, anthrax and the plague. He called on conference participants to focus on improving monitoring for early disease outbreaks and said new antiviral drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and antibodies are needed.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/18) 
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Listeria may be serious miscarriage threat early in pregnancy
Listeria, a common foodborne bacterium, may pose a greater risk of miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy than appreciated, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine studying how pathogens affect fetal development and change the outcome of pregnancy. Read more.
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