Researcher embraces outreach after being targeted by activists | Veterinarians work to transform canine osteosarcoma care | Researchers ID novel malaria species in wild bonobos
November 22, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
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Researcher embraces outreach after being targeted by activists
Postdoctoral research fellow Christine Lattin studies non-native house sparrows' stress response not only to learn how to help animals as well as people survive extreme stress, but also to develop noninvasive research methods. Lattin has been targeted recently by animal rights activists and has become more vocal about her research in the hope of better educating the public about the benefits of animal research.
New Haven Register (Conn.) (11/19) 
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Veterinarians work to transform canine osteosarcoma care
Veterinarians work to transform canine osteosarcoma care
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Standard treatment of osteosarcoma, an aggressive and highly metastatic cancer to which large and extra-large dogs in particular are prone, generally includes amputation, chemotherapy and sometimes radiation, says veterinary oncologist Sue Ettinger. The Morris Animal Foundation and Bone Cancer Dogs are among the groups funding osteosarcoma studies that include vaccine candidates, rapamycin, microRNA targets and nanoparticles.
JAVMA News (11/15) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Researchers ID novel malaria species in wild bonobos
Researchers ID novel malaria species in wild bonobos
(Thomas Lohnes/AFP/Getty Images)
Researchers discovered that wild bonobos are susceptible to malaria parasites and identified previously unknown Laverania species that is specific to bonobos but only in a limited area. "It seems likely that these parasites co-evolved with African apes, suggesting that the ancestors of bonobos were infected, and implying that most wild-living communities of bonobos have somehow lost their malaria parasites," said Paul Sharp, co-author of the study, which is published in Nature Communications.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (11/21) 
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Old malaria drug may find new use against Zika virus, mouse study suggests
Drinking water laced with the malaria drug chloroquine reduced viral load in pregnant mice infected with the Zika virus and their offspring, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. The drug is inexpensive, readily available and safe, and should be tested in human trials, study co-author Alexey Terskikh said.
The Scientist online (11/17) 
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Study of squirrels could lead to treatment for stroke
Study of squirrels could lead to treatment for stroke
(Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)
A cellular process called SUMOylation prevents brain damage in hibernating squirrels by allowing the animals' brains to function with reduced blood and oxygen flow, scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reported in the Foundation of American Societies for Experimental Biology's journal. The enzyme ebselen, which boosts the process, protected mouse brains in a study, and it could help people recover from a stroke if it can be delivered to the human brain, say first author Joshua Bernstock and NINDS program director Francesca Bosetti.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (11/19) 
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Papers raise concerns about CRISPR gene drives in the wild
CRISPR gene drives may be too strong to be used in the wild to cut back populations of invasive species, according to a pair of papers published in PLOS Biology and bioRxiv. The fear is that altered genes might accidentally spread to other territories with unknown consequences.
Science News (11/16) 
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Animal Health
Chimps, like humans, monitor what their compatriots know
Chimpanzees can take other chimps' knowledge into account when alerting each other of danger, according to a study. If a chimp saw a snake, researchers reported, and thought other nearby chimps had seen it, the chimp made a different type of sound and made less of an effort.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (11/15) 
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Clinical trial of focused ultrasound for canine tumors to begin next year
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine will begin a clinical trial next year exploring the use of focused ultrasound to treat canine soft-tissue tumors. "Because many types of tumors that affect people also occur naturally in dogs, focused ultrasound could not only augment the traditional approach to cancer in dogs but also advance our understanding of human cancer," said study leader and veterinarian Jeffrey Ruth.
The Roanoke Times (Va.) (11/20) 
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