As the government takes steps to curb the opioid abuse crisis, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that for many Americans, pain is a fact of life, and these patients "should not become the collateral damage in our war on drugs," writes FBR Board Chairwoman Dr. Claire Pomeroy, who is president of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. "I call on our country to support medical research that advances the search for better, more effective, non-addictive pain medicines and therapies," she writes, noting many research advances have already set the groundwork for better, safer treatments.
Fear memories have been removed from mouse brains in a study that may to lead to treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. "Using low-frequency stimulations with light, we were able to erase the fear memory by artificially weakening the connections conveying the signals of the sensory cue -- a high-pitch tone in our experiments -- that are associated with the aversive event," said researcher Jun-Hyeong Cho.
Rita Fior, a biologist at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal, and her colleagues reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they created so-called cancer avatars by implanting human colorectal tumor cells in zebrafish larvae. Then, the fish were treated with chemotherapy drug combinations, and in most cases, their response predicted human patient response, suggesting that zebrafish could be used to help select the right treatment for a given patient.
Miniature robotic vehicles have delivered antibiotics to mice stomachs, successfully treating bacterial infections, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Called micromotors, the little robots are coated, allowing them move around and stick to various sites in the stomach, releasing antibiotics when stomach acids are lowest.
Activating neurons in the brains of Japanese macaques caused them to recognize new items as known and familiar items as new, according to a study published in Science. Researchers stimulated different areas of the perirhinal cortex, which is known to have something to do with visual memory, to see how it would affect the monkeys' identification of objects.
Scientists in eastern Brazil are studying local populations of monkeys, mosquitoes and people in an attempt to quell the current outbreak of yellow fever and predict the next one. Monkeys are at risk because they lack natural immunity to the disease and because many people mistakenly believe monkeys can transmit the virus to humans and sometimes kill the animals.
Chimpanzees are less likely to exhibit comforting behavior to their companions as they get older, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Researchers found the youngest chimps appeared most empathetic toward others and older chimps became more selective with their comforting behavior, findings experts say could yield insights into human behavior.
Zoos, national parks and science centers asked people across the US to report their observations of animal and insect behavior during this week's solar eclipse. Many reports involved normal behavior, but abnormal behavior included a swarm of bees hitting an office window after the eclipse, activity among zoo mammals and reptiles, and crabs emerging from the water's edge.
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A battle lost or won is easily described, understood and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.
Frederick Douglass, social reformer, abolitionist and orator
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.