Lasker Foundation intensifies advocacy for biomedical research funding | Damage from Hurricane Maria has set back important primate research | Anesthesiologist developing emergency snake bite treatment
The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, led by its president, Claire Pomeroy, is speaking out forcefully for sustained, robust biomedical research funding, recently taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times signed by 123 laureates. The foundation ran a similar statement along with 88 patient advocacy organizations in USA Today and organized the #ResearchSavedMe campaign, where Pomeroy shared her own kidney cancer story.
Despite losing nearly everything in Hurricane Maria, some scientists and other staff of a primate research center continue to make the trip from the eastern shore of Puerto Rico to Cayo Santiago each day to rebuild the center and ensure the monkeys survive. Research on behavior and autism will be set back by at least a year, says Noah Snyder-Mackler, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Washington.
Anesthesiologist Vance Nielsen is developing a carbon monoxide-based emergency treatment for venomous snake bites that interfere with coagulation, and tests in plasma samples and live animals have shown the treatment works on 36 different kinds of venom. The treatment does not replace antivenoms but may keep snake bite victims alive long enough to get to a treatment center, Nielsen says.
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University discovered what they believe is a spinal pathway to induce breathing, and they used it to stimulate diaphragm activity in rats with a drug and optogenetics. The treatment, described in Cell Reports, could be the basis for therapies that restore spontaneous respiration in people with spinal cord damage who need a ventilator to breathe.
A comparison of DNA from mice, dogs and people led to the identification of four genes linked to obsessive-compulsive disorder, researchers reported in Nature Communications. The findings may give researchers a better understanding of how OCD develops, says Dr. Marco Grados, a Johns Hopkins University OCD researcher who was not involved in the study.
In the second installment of a four-part series, Justin Varholick describes scientists' attempts to identify and replicate a virus in the breast milk of mice and to determine whether it had anything to do with the formation of breast cancer.
Researchers studying electroencephalograms of dogs during three-hour naps found patterns indicative of general intelligence, memory, learning and healthy aging similar to human sleep-state brain patterns. The findings, published in Scientific Reports, suggest that dogs could help scientists understand the function of sleep in people.
A Florida appeals court panel ruled that Hendry County, Fla., did not err in granting operating rights to two monkey breeding facilities, and no more appeals are possible in the case. The FDA requires that drugs and vaccines be tested in animals, and monkeys have been indispensable in the development of vaccines and treatments for typhus, polio and a range of other devastating diseases, National Association for Biomedical Research President Matthew R. Bailey said in a 2015 interview.
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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.