Experimental vaccine cures melanoma in mice | Zika-specific neutralizing antibodies protect against infection in mice | Implanted device acts as decoy to attract cancer cells
December 21, 2016
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Experimental vaccine cures melanoma in mice
Researchers are planning human trials of a vaccine developed at Finland's University of Helsinki that cured melanoma in mice. Human trials will likely involve people with melanoma or triple-negative breast cancer.
The Guardian (Nigeria) (12/19) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Zika-specific neutralizing antibodies protect against infection in mice
Z23 and Z3L1 antibodies collected from a patient infected with the Zika virus and injected into mice protected the mice against Zika and did not react with any of four strains of dengue, suggesting there is no risk the antibodies would facilitate infection with dengue and other flaviviruses, researchers found. The antibodies appear to interfere with the virus' ability to enter cells and replicate, researchers wrote in Science Translational Medicine, and the findings could form the foundation for new vaccines and treatments.
HealthDay News (12/14) 
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Implanted device acts as decoy to attract cancer cells
Implanted device acts as decoy to attract cancer cells.
(Mychele Daniau/Getty Images)
A tiny device implanted in mice decreased breast cancer tumor metastasis by about 90%, and researchers are planning to test the device in humans. The device replicates the structure of tissue that tends to attract cancer, and it was initially developed only to study cancer metastasis, not fight it.
Chicago magazine online (12/19) 
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Researchers tweak aging process in mice
Researchers have reprogrammed adult cells in mice, causing the cells to revert to an embryoniclike state, effectively reversing the aging process, according to findings published in Cell. By activating four specific genes, scientists expanded the life span of a mouse with a rapid-aging disease and revitalized damaged muscles in a middle-aged mouse.
ScientificAmerican.com (12/15) 
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Monkey hearing study sheds light on pitch problems with cochlear implants
Electrical stimulation like that used in cochlear implants doesn't activate portions of the brain like sound does, according to a study of marmosets, which can discern pitch much like humans do. The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, are giving researchers clues to why people with cochlear implants have trouble with pitch.
Nature (free content) (12/15) 
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Nanoparticle mixture shows promise as broad-spectrum anti-venom
Nanoparticle mixture shows promise as broad-spectrum antivenom.
(David McNew/Getty Images)
An experimental nanoparticle mixture absorbs numerous common venom toxins and might become the basis of a broad, stable anti-venom in an approach that has been effective against bee venom in animal studies. An estimated 4.5 million people are bitten each year by venomous snakes, resulting in nearly 3 million serious injuries and more than 100,000 deaths, but most anti-venoms are expensive to produce and require refrigeration.
ScienceMag.org (12/20) 
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Growth lines in teeth, bones point to species-specific biorhythms
Studies of mammal teeth and bones suggest that distinct biorhythms set the pace for growth and longevity in a given species, and it may be possible to determine characteristics such as an animal's body size by analyzing a single tooth. The rhythmic intervals seem to increase with body mass as well as life span, metabolic rate, lactation length, estrous cycle length and organ size.
Quanta Magazine (12/13) 
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Other News
Animal Health
BPA from canned foods may be harming dogs
A study by veterinarians at the University of Missouri found that dogs' levels of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A nearly tripled after the animals ate a canned-food diet for two weeks, and the exposure was associated with metabolic and microbiome changes. The researchers said the findings may have implications for humans, too, saying: "Indeed, our canine companions may be the best bio-sentinels for human health concerns."
Time.com (12/19),  KOLR-TV/KOZL-TV (Springfield, Mo.) (12/19) 
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