Slashing the NIH's budget to halt animal research would kill people and pets | Commentary: The public needs to hear biomedical scientists' stories | Dead pig brains somewhat revived by Yale scientists
April 17, 2019
FBR Smartbrief
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Slashing the NIH's budget to halt animal research would kill people and pets
Slashing the NIH's budget to halt animal research would kill people and pets
An animal rights organization bought a billboard ad urging President Donald Trump to cut $15 billion from the NIH's budget so that the agency will stop funding biomedical research that involves animals. If the president does the group's bidding, valuable research will grind to a halt and countless people -- as well as dogs and cats -- will die of otherwise treatable diseases, writes FBR President Matthew R. Bailey.
The Detroit News (4/11) 
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Commentary: The public needs to hear biomedical scientists' stories
Scientists are generally hesitant to discuss their work openly, and this tendency has allowed misguided activists to control the narrative about biomedical research involving animals, writes Cindy Buckmaster, director of the Center for Comparative Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Science and facts are powerful persuaders, and the public needs to hear the stories researchers have to tell while remaining mindful of safety and security, Buckmaster writes.
The Scientist online (4/11) 
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Research Breakthroughs
Dead pig brains somewhat revived by Yale scientists
Yale University scientists have restored or preserved some cellular function in brains from pigs that had been dead several hours. An article published in Nature described the experiment, which involved pumping a chemical cocktail into the brains for six hours after the pigs had been dead for four hours, then comparing them to untreated brains.
National Public Radio (4/17),  The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/17) 
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Alpaca antibodies help slow tumor growth in mice
Alpaca antibodies help slow tumor growth in mice
(Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)
Scientists used an engineered version of antibodies from alpacas and chimeric antigen receptor T cells to penetrate protective barriers on solid tumors. The researchers reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the new cells slowed tumor growth and extended survival in mouse models of colon cancer and melanoma.
FierceBiotech (4/15) 
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Low-intensity focused ultrasound changes how monkeys make decisions
Low-intensity ultrasound waves directed at certain areas of the brain change decision-making processes and behavior and have the potential to improve the lives of people with mental health conditions or cognitive impairment, according to a study in monkeys that was published in Nature Neuroscience. The researchers determined that counterfactual thinking occurs in the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain, and monkeys' decision-making changed after low-intensity ultrasound was used to disrupt activity in that area.
New Atlas (4/16) 
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3D-printed hearts will be put through animal testing
Scientists from Tel Aviv University have created a small, 3D-printed heart using cells and biologic material from a person, complete with cells, chambers, blood vessels and ventricles. The study team said in the journal Advanced Science that the findings demonstrate the potential that personalized cardiac patches and full transplants may one day be possible, but animal studies are needed first.
USA Today (4/16) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Study: Dogs in southern Ontario at risk for deadly tapeworm
Echinococcus multilocularis, a tapeworm that can kill dogs and people, is widespread in foxes and coyotes in southern Ontario, researchers report. Dogs that regularly go off-leash, hunt or eat rodents are at high risk, and animal owners should speak with their veterinarian about preventive anthelmintic drugs, veterinary parasitologist and study coauthor Andrew Peregrine said.
Waterloo Region Record (Ontario) (4/14) 
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Animals at petting zoos might harbor dangerous pathogens
Animals at petting zoos might harbor dangerous pathogens
Animals at petting zoos shed microbes that can infect and be subsequently transmitted by people who come in contact with them, according to research presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases. Researchers collected samples from more than 200 animals across 42 species at eight petting zoos in Israel and found two multidrug-resistant strains of E. coli among other bacteria, and suggested that petting zoos implement strict hygiene and infection-control policies.
The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model) (4/15),  Gizmodo (4/13) 
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Policy News
$22M NIAID grant to fund therapy development for lethal viruses
A five-year, $22 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will support the international Prometheus Center for Excellence in Translational Research project, which aims to develop antibody-based therapies for viruses that spread from animals to humans. The target viruses are the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus and the Andes, Puumala and Sin Nombre hantaviruses.
Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (4/12) 
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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.
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