M032, an oncolytic herpes simplex virus being tested on adult and pediatric brain tumors, will also be tested on canine brain tumors in a multiuniversity study. "Brain tumors in dogs and humans are remarkably similar ... [and] it is not unreasonable to assume that the dog will be a highly useful model of human brain tumors," said veterinarian Renee Chambers, a neurosurgeon and professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
A low concentration of arginine vasopressin, a hormone that regulates blood pressure, in cerebrospinal fluid might be a biomarker for autism as well as a target for treatment, researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine. Male rhesus macaques with low levels of AVP displayed autism-like behavior while those with high AVP levels were the most sociable, and a similar correlation was observed in boys.
Using single-cell sequencing, researchers have mapped out the growth of individual cells in zebrafish and frog embryos over a 24-hour period, according to a trio of studies published in Science. "There is much left to be done, but this is the first global road map of development," said study co-author Sean Megason.
Researchers who mapped corticospinal nerve connections involved in forelimb movement and sensory function say the work could advance efforts to reverse paralysis after a stroke or spinal cord injury, according to a study published in Cell Reports. The team found that silencing a transcription factor called Chx10 in the cervical spinal cord and blocking Vglut3 gene activity affected the animals' ability to grasp food, suggesting targets for further research.
A study in the journal Cell describes how NIH researchers studied the cellular mechanisms that aid in the hibernation of the 13-lined ground squirrel. "By understanding the biology of cold adaptation in hibernation, we may be able to improve and broaden the applications of induced hypothermia in the future, and perhaps prolong the viability of organs prior to transplantation," said study co-author Wei Li of the National Eye Institute's Retinal Neurophysiology Section.
With the use of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, Salk Institute researchers have developed a one-time, injectable autologous cell therapy to treat hemophilia B. Findings indicate the gene-edited, stem-cell-derived liver cells continued to be functional and viable in hemophiliac mice for almost a year.
Dogs with leishmaniasis are at significant risk for coinfection with Ehrlichia canis, according to a case-control study published in Parasites & Vectors. Leishmania infantum suppresses the immune system, potentially facilitating new or reactivated ehrlichiosis, which could affect the clinical outcome of a Leishmania infection.
The New York State Court of Appeals denied an appeal by the Nonhuman Rights Project, closing a five-year effort to move two captive chimps and reaffirming that the animals do not have personhood. The opinion, however, noted the issue raises complex ethical questions and suggests courts will continue to grapple with the status of nonhuman primates.
Researchers at the University of Iowa are working to find cures and treatments for Alzheimer's disease, cancer, mental health disorders, obesity, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and other conditions, but a misguided animal rights group is waging "a dangerous campaign aimed at smearing scientists and derailing health research," writes Paula Clifford, executive director of Americans for Medical Progress. The fact is that there is no alternative to using animals for some research, and institutions that conduct research on animals are highly regulated, Clifford writes.
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