Stopping animal research would have serious consequences, experts write | Ambien may speed stroke recovery, study finds | Drug may help brain clear damaging waste, improve Alzheimer's symptoms
December 23, 2015
FBR Smartbrief

Top Story
Stopping animal research would have serious consequences, experts write
Animal research has formed the foundation of nearly all major breakthroughs in medicine over the past 100 years,  touching many human lives with countless insights into diseases and how to treat them, write Hollis Cline and Mar Sanchez of the Society for Neuroscience. The push to end such research has created an "urgent" challenge to help the public understand its value and the humane and highly regulated approach labs take when working with animals, they write. "A choice to turn away from animal research would have immediate and dire consequences," Cline and Sanchez write. The Hill (12/22)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Research Breakthroughs
Ambien may speed stroke recovery, study finds
The sleep drug Ambien helped mice recover more quickly from two types of stroke, according to findings published in the journal Brain. Although the mechanism by which it might aid stroke recovery is not clear, Ambien works on receptors for the GABA neurotransmitter, associated with the brain's capability to rewire itself. Further animal studies are planned to refine treatment, followed by clinical trials. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (12/18), New Scientist (12/18)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Drug may help brain clear damaging waste, improve Alzheimer's symptoms
A study published in Nature Medicine found that the agent rolipram helps the brain remove buildup of toxic tau proteins, which are associated with Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative disorders. Working with a mouse model, the team demonstrated how tau aggregates and interferes with the waste-clearing activity of cellular proteasomes. Then, they showed that rolipram reactivates and restores function of the proteasome, prompting the disposal of the tau proteins that stick to it. Rolipram has been shown in past studies to improve memory function in mice. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (12/22)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Compound might blunt heart harm from fatty meals
A novel compound that suppresses a digestive byproduct from the breakdown of fatty foods could help prevent heart disease, studies in mice suggest. Trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, is released as gastrointestinal microbes break down meat, eggs and fat-laden dairy products, but adding the compound, known as DMB, to drinking water blocked production of artery-clogging TMAO in mice and might do the same for humans. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/17)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Stem cell transplant in mouse embryos marks major advance in regenerative medicine
Researchers reported in the journal Cell Stem Cell that human pluripotent stem cells were successfully transplanted into a mouse embryo and developed normally, without causing tumor growth. A team from the University of Cambridge implanted the cells into mouse embryos and found that the cells spread and proliferated across the tissues. The transplant was carried out at a later stage of embryonic development than in previous unsuccessful attempts, the study team reported. (12/17)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Other News
What Do You Think?
Last week, FBR SmartBrief asked readers what they thought was the top story of the year:
What was the biggest science news story of 2015?
International summit held to discuss ethics on human gene editing.  32.65%
NIH retires all chimps for medical research.  30.61%
Researchers are closer than ever to having a universal flu vaccine.  28.57%
Genetically modified salmon are approved by the FDA.  8.16%
Animal Health
Pet cancer care advancing rapidly
Precise figures are hard to come by, but cancer is a leading cause of mortality among companion animals over age 6. Owners facing a diagnosis must balance the cost of treatment with the likely benefit, but advanced treatments such as bone marrow transplants are available, and more are being developed. Drugs have been approved to treat canine skin and mammary gland cancers, mast cell tumors and melanoma, and treatment for canine lymphoma is being tested. Human drugs are also used to treat animal cancers, and physicians and veterinarians are increasingly collaborating to help both species benefit from oncology research. CBS MoneyWatch (12/18)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Integrated oncology takes human approach to animals with cancer
Woman and cat.
Auburn University is home to Alabama's only veterinary oncology team, one of the few integrated veterinary cancer care teams in the nation. As part of the Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium, the clinicians are conducting translational oncology research investigating the crossover between humans and animals. Auburn veterinarians treat about 600 new patients each year, most of which are companion animals, although the team has seen cows, horses, snakes and parrots. Opelika-Auburn News (Ala.) (12/21)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Policy News
Science agencies see changes, some added funding under spending bill
The 2016 spending bill passed by Congress calls for a $2 billion spending boost for the NIH and will increase the budgets of most science agencies, including the USDA's Agricultural Research Service as long as it updates its animal care policies. The legislation also funds research into white-nose syndrome and emerging wildlife diseases, prevents using "random source" cats and dogs in biomedical research, and calls for greater oversight of certain livestock research facilities. (12/18)
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
FBR News

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.
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar."
-- Helen Keller,
writer and political activist
Share: LinkedInTwitterFacebookGoogle+Email
Learn more about FBR ->About FBR | Donate
About FBR
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.
Subscriber Tools
Please contact one of our specialists for advertising opportunities, editorial inquiries, job placements, or any other questions.
Editor:  Melissa Turner

Download the SmartBrief App  iTunes / Android
iTunes  Android
Mailing Address:
SmartBrief, Inc.®, 555 11th ST NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004
© 1999-2015 SmartBrief, Inc.®
Privacy policy |  Legal Information