The Vaccine Against Canine Cancer Study is enrolling dogs in what will be the largest-ever canine clinical trial, and the cancer prevention vaccine being evaluated could also end up helping people fight cancer. The vaccine was initially designed to first be tested in humans, but a streamlined process, the fact that cancer is common in senior dogs and the similarities between dogs and humans made the trial with pets a good fit.
Chemotherapy and radiation help physicians save the lives of many children with cancer, but the treatments leave 30% of those survivors infertile. However, a technique developed through research in mice, pigs and monkeys -- and recently validated in macaques -- could preserve the fertility of these patients and is nearly ready for clinical testing in humans, writes researcher Kyle Orwig.
The world's last living northern white rhinos. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)
Scientists have successfully transferred a rhinoceros embryo into a female after fertilizing the southern white rhino's eggs in vitro, and they say the success is evidence the technique could work to help save the nearly extinct northern white subspecies. There are just two northern white rhinos left in the world, and both are female, but scientists have sperm from several males that could be used to preserve the species.
Researchers working with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging discovered that pigs are a potentially helpful model for studying neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in humans, and the team hopes to use the tool to zero in on biomarkers for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. CTE most commonly affects military veterans, football players and others subject to trauma, but it can only be diagnosed post-mortem.
A type of bacteria that is commonly found in elite athletes, especially after they work out, improved the athletic performance of mice after they were exposed to the microbes, according to research reported in Nature Medicine. The findings are interesting to exercise physiologists and others focused on human performance, but the study also provides a model for other microbiome studies focused more directly on medicine, such as neurology and immunology.
Scientists have developed a multi-organ system for testing cancer therapies using induced pluripotent stem cells, and they say the tool could someday reduce the need for animals in some research. The idea holds promise, according to Dr. Razelle Kurzrock of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, but she said questions remain, and the concept should be seen as a "first step in the direction of a human 'avatar' model" rather than a fully validated technology.
Separate studies of bats and mice, both published in Cell, show that brain activity syncs up between creatures of the same kind when they are in proximity to each other, but that coordinated brain activity ends when the animals are separated. Researchers say the coordinated activity might underlie social behaviors, such as grooming.
The FDA is examining whether boutique, grain-free or exotic pet foods could play a role in reports of dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. Initial hypotheses focused on inadequate intake of taurine, but most dogs with DCM have normal taurine levels, so scientists are exploring whether a dietary toxin or a compound that interferes with taurine could be the culprit.
Animal rights groups mislead the public about animal research, but FBR is fighting back with facts. In this resource, highly respected neuro-oncologist and FBR Board Vice-Chair Dr. Henry S. Friedman refutes myths surrounding animal research with scientific evidence and sets the record straight on the reality and benefits of animal research. Check it out.
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.
Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.
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.