News Archive

New research in mice suggests that a molecule linked to clogged arteries might activate the immune system to the point where it harms the body. The findings may explain why clogged arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, have been tied to autoimmune disorders, which develop when the immune system goes awry.

"The lesson from this study is that immune diseases are not always a matter of immune system alone," said senior study author Yeonseok Chung, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "With our findings, we have just started to understand how factors in the circulatory system impact the immune system."

Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 16:07

A faulty gene in mice may predispose some people with the same genetic defect to Type 2 diabetes, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have found.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 - 14:35

Congratulations to the naked mole rat, which was recently named the Vertebrate of the Year by Science Magazine! Naked mole rats have carved out a reputation for healthy living; they can last as long as 30 years and stay healthy right up to the end-and that includes never getting cancer.

Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 15:28

For all the weird and wonderful diversity of the animal kingdom, at the genetic level many species have a surprising level of similarity.

As a result we can learn a lot about the inner workings of our own human cells by studying other animals, and not all of them are mammals as you might expect.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 15:00

The tropical zebrafish is the unlikely hero in providing hope for a different future for Charlie who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Friday, December 20, 2013 - 15:53

New research by scientists in Germany - using a modified enzyme to kill HIV - is providing renewed hope that people living with the virus can be cured.

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - 16:41

A tiny, transparent fish embryo and a string of surprises led scientists to a deeper understanding of the perplexing link between low calcium and colon cancer.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 16:11

On a recent visit to a laboratory where he researches obesity, Kevin Corbit walked over to one of the patients he is studying to say hello. Then he clasped a claw.

Dr. Corbit, a scientist at drug maker Amgen Inc., AMGN +0.38% is conducting his research on grizzly bears. He believes insights gleaned from the animals, who can take in as much as 58,000 calories in a day and weigh 1,000 pounds, could reshape understanding of obesity and identify new treatments for a condition that has stymied doctors and drug developers.

Monday, December 16, 2013 - 14:52

A team led by a longtime Oregon Health & Science University researcher has demonstrated in mice what could be a revolutionary new technique to cure a wide range of human diseases — from cystic fibrosis to cataracts to Alzheimer’s disease — that are caused by “misfolded” protein molecules.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 17:04

People with early signs of multiple sclerosis who were treated with a vaccine used to prevent tuberculosis were less likely to get sick than patients who weren’t vaccinated, according to an early study.

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 15:00

Dogs with the bleeding disorder haemophilia A have been successfully treated by gene therapy, according to US scientists.

Two of three dogs given the experimental treatment remain free of severe symptoms more than two years on, they write in Nature Communications.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 16:48

Nick Jeffery, professor of neurology and neurosurgery in the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, said the new treatment methods he's studying in dogs can offer a more realistic picture of how humans would respond to new treatments than laboratory experiments on rats, a much more widely used method of gathering data on new medical procedures.

The tightly controlled laboratory conditions for rodents bear little resemblance to the clinical reality of human spinal injuries. But pet dogs that spontaneously suffer spinal injuries can offer a much closer match, Jeffery said.

Nick Jeffery, professor of neurology and neurosurgery in the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, said the new treatment methods he's studying in dogs can offer a more realistic picture of how humans would respond to new treatments than laboratory experiments on rats, a much more widely used method of gathering data on new medical procedures.

The tightly controlled laboratory conditions for rodents bear little resemblance to the clinical reality of human spinal injuries. But pet dogs that spontaneously suffer can offer a much closer match, Jeffery said.



Friday, November 15, 2013 - 14:35

The nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) has many hidden skills—it can sniff out insects buried 20 cm underground, for example, and jump more than a meter into the air when startled. Seeing, however, is not one of its natural talents. Because its eyes lack light-detecting cells called cones, it has fuzzy, colorless vision. The light-receptive cells that an armadillo does have, called rods, are so sensitive that daylight renders the nocturnal animals practically blind. But the deficit may have a silver lining for humans. To study diseases that cause blindness in people, scientists typically genetically “knock out” cone-related genes in animals like mice. Such studies are limited, because they examine only one gene at a time, when a number of different genes contribute to cone dysfunction, researchers say. By comparing the armadillo gene to other closely related mammals, a team of scientists has now identified several cone-related genes in the armadillo genome that became nonfunctional millions of years ago, they report today at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego, California. This makes the animals "excellent candidates" for gene therapy experiments that could restore color vision and point the way to potential human treatments, they say.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 16:51

Skeletal muscle has proved to be very difficult to grow in patients with muscular dystrophy and other disorders that degrade and weaken muscle. Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital's Stem Cell Program now report boosting muscle mass and reversing disease in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, using a "cocktail" of three compounds identified through a new rapid culture system. Adding the same compounds to stem cells derived from patients' skin cells, they then successfully grew human muscle cells in a dish.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/11/07/5890513/researchers-build-muscle-in-diseased.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, November 8, 2013 - 17:15

While human doctors and veterinarians are usually thought to keep to their own corners of the animal kingdom, more are seeing the same maladies in their patients – from breast cancers to addictions to eating disorders – causing the two disciplines to increasingly team up to crack medical mysteries.

Monday, November 4, 2013 - 15:03

Researchers frequently investigate animal-derived compounds and determine their usefulness as treatments for human ailments. Examples of success stories include bat saliva used as an anticoagulant in stroke patients, centipede venom as a potent painkiller, and intestinal parasites combating rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus and more.

Friday, November 1, 2013 - 16:18

An experimental drug called 3K3A-APC appears to reduce brain damage, eliminate brain hemorrhaging and improve motor skills in mice that have been afflicted by stroke, according to a new study from Keck Medicine of USC. The report provides additional evidence that 3K3A-APC may be used as a therapy for stroke in humans.

Friday, October 25, 2013 - 12:54

With help from mice, researchers from St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital have discovered a way to develop a universal flu vaccine that could protect against the most common strains just as much as the deadliest pandemic strains.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 - 14:32

Scientists studying tiny zebrafish have uncovered a way to slow the growth of liver tumours by up to 30 per cent, simply by "switching on" a key protein called Rho.

Monday, October 21, 2013 - 15:42

One might wonder why researchers would even care about the nuances of the one-millimeter long nematode worm, let alone take the time to study them. But the answer is simple: they can provide powerful insights into human health and disease.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 15:09