Researchers develop new canine influenza vaccines | Scientists move closer to growing transplant organs, but restrictions remain | Generic antiparasitic drug is being put to the test against cancer
February 1, 2017
FBR Smartbrief
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Researchers develop new canine influenza vaccines
Researchers develop new canine influenza vaccines.
(Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
Existing canine influenza vaccines use viruses that have been inactivated or killed, but University of Rochester researchers report in Virology that they have developed two live-attenuated vaccines to combat H3N8 canine influenza that might provide better protection. The team found dogs exposed to the virus mounted an immune response, and clinical trials are planned.
New Atlas (1/27) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Scientists move closer to growing transplant organs, but restrictions remain
Scientists move closer to growing transplant organs, but restrictions remain.
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Biologists reported in the journal Cell that they successfully grew human stem cells in pig embryos, and another research team reported in Nature that they had reversed diabetes in mice by growing mouse pancreases in rats. The research puts scientists a step closer to the ability to grow human organs in animals for later transplant, but the NIH has yet to deliver on plans to lift a moratorium on funding such studies, and a proposal would expand prohibitions on placing human stem cells in early embryos from nonhuman primates while tightening restrictions on breeding species that could play a role in production of human gametes.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (1/26),  Science News (1/26) 
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Generic antiparasitic drug is being put to the test against cancer
Mebendazole, a generic drug for pinworm infections, is being tested as a potential cancer treatment in Phase I clinical trials after laboratory mice treated with the drug did not develop medulloblastoma despite having been implanted with the cancer cells.
National Public Radio (1/30) 
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Neuropeptide stimulates fat loss in roundworm study
Researchers working with roundworms discovered that the neuropeptide FLP-7 stimulates lipid metabolism during digestion, and raising levels of the hormone reduced body fat without apparent side effects. The researchers will test the effects in mice before trying to develop a drug that could be used to help humans.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model) (1/30),  New Atlas (1/30) 
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Mature heart cells developed from adult stem cells in animal study
In a study reported in the journal Cell Reports, scientists with Johns Hopkins University developed mature heart muscle cells by implanting cardiac stem cells from adult rats into newborn rat hearts. The cells developed further in vivo than others cultured in the laboratory, and the mature cells could contract and beat.
United Press International (1/26) 
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Agent might allow for safer stroke treatment
Agent might allow for safer stroke treatment.
(David McNew/Getty Images)
Scientists from Boston's Joslin Diabetes Center have discovered a new method that combines tissue plasminogen activator with a plasma kallikrein inhibitor for treatment of stroke, and the approach resulted in less bleeding and swelling in mice with blood clots in their brains. The results, reported in the journal Blood, suggest the approach could improve the safety of stroke care and allow a longer timeframe for treatment.
United Press International (1/30) 
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Study points to sex-linked differences in obesity, weight gain
Results of obesity studies that used only male rats might not apply to females, researchers reported in Frontiers in Nutrition. As researchers at Texas A&M University began to use female rats in studies on diet-induced obesity, they realized that reliable predictors of long-term obesity in males were not accurate in females.
United Press International (1/31) 
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Combination blood cancer therapy studied in mice
Researchers with the University of Manchester found that obinutuzumab and TLR7 activation improved the survival rates of mouse models of blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia, according to findings published in the journal Leukemia. The study team hopes to develop a treatment for patients.
iTech Post (1/24) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Avian influenza's geographic reach, diversity of strains could signal danger
Numerous strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza are circulating, and new outbreaks have been reported in almost 40 countries since November, putting the world at "unprecedented" risk of a human pandemic, according to infectious disease researcher Michael Osterholm. Scientists have detected signs of aerosol transmission across miles, increased viral shedding and a particular capacity for sustained transmission in the H5 strains.
Reuters (1/26) 
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