EPA move to phase out animal testing threatens public health | Experimental vaccine protects monkeys from 4 hemorrhagic fever viruses | Veterinary researchers map blood-brain barrier response to metastases
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's initiative to phase out the use of mammals in all chemical safety tests by 2035 is a noble but unrealistic goal that threatens to undermine medical research and public health, writes FBR President Matthew R. Bailey. "In some cases, there is no other way to evaluate the safety and efficacy of substances than to study their impact in animals," Bailey writes.
An investigational vaccine protected monkeys from four types of hemorrhagic fever virus endemic to certain areas of Africa, including strains of Ebola virus and Marburg virus, the NIH announced. No other licensed vaccine protects against any of the viruses, all of which can be fatal.
Veterinarian Tiffany Lyle, an assistant professor of veterinary anatomic pathology at Purdue University, and her research team have mapped how the blood-brain barrier becomes a blood-tumor barrier in lung cancer that has metastasized to the brain, preventing drugs from penetrating the tumors. Their research, published in Oncotarget, showed that astrocytes undergo changes during the transition, and Dr. Lyle says the finding will be key in developing effective treatments.
An axolotl at Chapultepec Zoo regenerated a fully functional eye within two months of losing nearly half its face to a fungal infection, highlighting the reason scientists interested in tissue regeneration study axolotls, whose wild populations are threatened by invasive species and water pollution. Axolotls also appear to be resistant to cancer, possibly thanks to their regenerative ability, says veterinarian and axolotl researcher Erika Servin Zamora.
A study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that guinea pigs did not show signs of illness when exposed for 30 minutes or less to American dog ticks infected with Rickettsia rickettsii, but guinea pigs exposed for 8 hours and 12 or more hours developed mild fevers and high fevers, respectively. The findings suggest that the host can develop Rocky Mountain spotted fever within a short period of time after an infected tick begins feeding.
Young Cavalier King Charles spaniels are prone to mitral valve disease, which affects about 6% of all dogs, and a gene therapy being tested in the breed might offer a cure for dogs as well as people with the condition, says veterinary cardiologist Vicky Yang of Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. The treatment prevents thickening of the heart valve.
African swine fever virus has killed millions of pigs in China, causing alarm among health care providers and drugmakers about the possibility of a prolonged shortage of heparin, an anticoagulant derived from pig intestines.
The University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is one of three institutions enrolling healthy dogs in a study to test a canine cancer vaccine. Veterinary colleges at the University of Wisconsin and Colorado State University are also enrolling dogs in the study.
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. The brochure is also available in Spanish. Check out Investigación Animal Percepciones vs. Realidad.
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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.