EPA plan to eliminate animal studies puts human health at risk | MacArthur grant recipient's work in NHPs may contribute to human health | NIH funding multi-institute research on universal influenza vaccine
October 2, 2019
FBR Smartbrief
Top Stories
EPA plan to eliminate animal studies puts human health at risk
An Environmental Protection Agency plan to reduce and eventually eliminate support for studies that involve animals isn't grounded in science and puts human health at risk, writes law professor Richard Revesz. Contrary to the agency's statements, scientists say alternative methods for toxicity testing are not robust enough to assess the full spectrum of human health effects chemicals may have, and major scientific stakeholders such as the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association have criticized the plan.
The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/26) 
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MacArthur grant recipient's work in NHPs may contribute to human health
Duke University professor Jenny Tung is among the winners of this year's MacArthur Fellowship awards. The geneticist and evolutionary anthropologist studies the interplay between animals' social behavior and their genetics and how daily life experiences affect health, life expectancy and reproduction, and her work with nonhuman primates in epigenetics and other areas could be translated to humans.
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (tiered subscription model) (9/26),  WRAL-TV (Raleigh, N.C.) (9/25) 
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Research Breakthroughs
NIH funding multi-institute research on universal influenza vaccine
NIH funding multi-institute research on universal influenza vaccine
(Norbert Millauer/AFP/Getty Images)
The Duke Human Vaccine Institute will receive $400 million over seven years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to develop, manufacture and test a long-lasting vaccine that protects against various strains of influenza. Researchers at the University of Georgia will also receive up to $130 million over seven years for their work on a universal flu vaccine that has shown promise in laboratory animals.
WRAL TechWire (Raleigh, N.C.) (9/30),  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (free content) (9/30) 
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Electroporation zaps cancer cells, promotes immunity in animal studies
Researchers in Virginia Tech's College of Engineering and Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine's Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology collaborated on a study published in EBioMedicine on mammary tumor ablation using high-frequency irreversible electroporation. The modality, which opens cancer cell membranes, induced immunological cell death and promoted systemic anti-tumor immunity in mice, and the technique cured a dog's histiocytic sarcoma.
Augusta Free Press (Va.) (9/29) 
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Smallpox vaccine tested in monkeys approved for use in people
The FDA approved a vaccine to prevent both smallpox and monkeypox in adults at high risk of exposure, and it will be kept available in the Strategic National Stockpile. The vaccine was shown to be safe and effective in nonhuman primates before it was put through clinical testing in people.
Medscape (free registration) (9/24) 
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Other News
Animal Health
Outbreak of Guinea worms in dogs endangers hope of eradication
Outbreak of Guinea worms in dogs endangers hope of eradication
(Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)
An international initiative reduced new cases of Guinea worm infection from 3.5 million in 1986 to 28 in 2018, but the infection rate in dogs in Chad has since risen, cases in humans in Angola and baboons in Ethiopia have surfaced, and armed conflicts have impeded eradication efforts. Parasitologist Mark Eberhard says that if the canine infection rate can be controlled, human cases might dry up, but the World Health Organization pushed the target for eradication from 2020 to 2030.
Nature (free content) (9/30) 
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Dog Aging Project clinical trial gearing up for enrollment
The Dog Aging Project is inviting dog owners to complete an online survey starting in mid-November for a clinical trial of rapamycin, which has been shown to extend the healthy lifespan of mice at low doses. The study is funded by the NIH's National Institute on Aging, and the data collected will be available for other researchers to study.
JAVMA News (9/25) 
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Research News
Suggested framework for animal research raises concerns
The so-called 3Rs -- replace, reduce, refine -- that have long guided animal research should be expanded amid evolving public sentiment, and the Belmont Report principles that have guided research involving humans since the 1970s can be adapted to guide animal research, write David DeGrazia and Tom Beauchamp. Their forthcoming book proposes a framework for animal research that they say could bridge the divide between the biomedical research and animal protection communities.
The Baltimore Sun (9/26) 
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FBR News
FBR resource: Animal Research Perceptions vs. Reality
FBR resource: Animal Research Perceptions vs. Reality
Animal rights groups mislead the public about animal research, but FBR is fighting back with facts. In this resource, highly respected neuro-oncologist and FBR Board Vice-Chair Dr. Henry S. Friedman refutes myths surrounding animal research with scientific evidence and sets the record straight on the reality and benefits of animal research. Check it out.
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Isabel Allende,
Chilean American writer
National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15
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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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