AIDS has gone from a death sentence to a chronic disease and now might be prevented by a vaccine, all thanks to animal research, writes FBR President Matthew R. Bailey. But that progress could hit a wall if animal rights activists get their way, Bailey writes. "[E]nding a scientific practice that could help defeat HIV/AIDS is reckless at best -- and inhumane at worst," Bailey writes.
Monkeys that developed resistance to simian immunodeficiency virus and simian-HIV had a different gene expression signature in B cells than monkeys that did not develop an immune response, suggesting that analyzing the genetic signature could aid the development of effective vaccines, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine. The gene set was first identified in influenza immunity studies and might be involved in response to vaccination in general, though specific changes are likely to differ between viruses, the researchers wrote.
Researchers edited the genes of lizards by injecting CRISPR into unfertilized eggs, creating albino lizards that can be used to help understand albinism and eye development, according to findings published in Cell Reports. The scientists thought their gene editing efforts would only affect the mother's DNA since they injected unfertilized eggs, but they note the father's DNA was affected too.
In a study published in Cell Research, scientists used a new gene editing technique to restore vision in a rat model of retinitis pigmentosa by inserting a functional copy of an exon to correct the related gene's loss of function.
Neuronal maps of adult male and hermaphrodite roundworms show not only all the neuronal connections but also the estimated strength of those connections and the direction in which nerve signals flow. The extrapolated maps show sex-related differences and are available for researchers to use in studying animal behavior.
The father of a child with alternating hemiplegia of childhood has become an expert on the condition and has driven the development of a potential gene therapy for the ultrarare genetic disorder. His research team has tested potential therapies in mice and are developing a mouse model for future testing.
Scientists mapped six neural networks in dogs' brains linked to specific functions and discovered that the networks were shaped differently depending on traits associated with the breed, such as hunting, herding and guarding. The research, published in JNeurosci, could improve our understanding of how brains work, says Daniel Horschler of the University of Arizona's Canine Cognition Center, and study leader Erin Hecht says further research could lead to breed-specific veterinary treatments.
Cannabidiol is being added to pet foods, treats, supplements and other products, but the compound is unregulated and few studies have examined its effects in animals. Some studies are underway, including one on CBD in treatment-resistant canine epilepsy at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, sponsored by the American Kennel Club's Canine Health Foundation.
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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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.