Weekly Research Roundup: 11/27/2017 Edition

Here’s a quick rundown of some the most interesting research articles from the last week or so, in no particular order:

Hibernating ground squirrels provide clues to new stroke treatments – from National Institutes of Health:

“In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels.  While the animals’ brains experience dramatically reduced blood flow during hibernation, just like human patients after a certain type of stroke, the squirrels emerge from their extended naps suffering no ill effects. Now, a team of NIH-funded scientists has identified a potential drug that could grant the same resilience to the brains of ischemic stroke patients by mimicking the cellular changes that protect the brains of those animals. The study was published in The FASEB Journal, the official journal of the Foundation of American Societies for Experimental Biology…”

Finding a future for osteosarcoma patients – from JAVMA News:

“Ana M. Cilursu, MD, lost three Rottweilers in a row to bone cancer.  The first dog, Hessa, had chondrosarcoma. She was not a candidate for surgery, and the tumor was quite aggressive.  The second and third dogs, Roddy and Maxine, had osteosarcoma. Both had amputations. Roddy started chemotherapy but developed lung metastases and a malignant pleural effusion several months into the treatment. Maxine did not have chemotherapy and developed spinal metastases three months after the amputation…”

Gut microbes can protect against high blood pressure – from MIT:

“Microbes living in your gut may help protect against the effects of a high-salt diet, according to a new study from MIT.  The MIT team, working with researchers in Germany, found that in both mice and humans, a high-salt diet shrinks the population of a certain type of beneficial bacteria. As a result, pro-inflammatory immune cells called Th-17 cells grow in number. These immune cells have been linked with high blood pressure, although the exact mechanism of how they contribute to hypertension is not yet known…”

Homeopathy vets must stop unnecessary animal suffering, Royal College warns – from The Telegraph:

“Vets must stop harming pets and livestock by using “unscientific” homeopathic treatments, the profession’s leadership has warned.  Animals are dying from preventable diseases and suffering needless pain because of misplaced belief in “unproven claims”, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) said.  The warning follows a petition signed by more than 3,360 vets expressing rising concern at the use homeopathy…”

Sex matters in experiments on party drug — in mice – from Nature:

“Mouse experiments with the popular club drug ketamine may be skewed by the sex of the researcher performing them, a study suggests.  The findings, presented on 14 November at the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) meeting in Washington DC, only deepen the mystery of how ketamine, which has powerful mood-lifting properties, interacts with the brain. They also raise questions about the reproducibility of behavioural experiments in mice.  Ketamine is best known as a psychoactive recreational drug. But it has caught psychiatrists’ interest because of its potential to treat depression within hours…”

Zika-related nerve damage caused by immune response to the virus – from Yale University:

“The immune system’s response to the Zika virus, rather than the virus itself, may be responsible for nerve-related complications of infection, according to a Yale study. This insight could lead to new ways of treating patients with Zika-related complications, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, the researchers said.  In mice models lacking a key antiviral response, infection with Zika virus causes paralysis and death. To understand the mechanism, a research team led by immunobiologist Akiko Iwasaki examined the spread of infection in these mice…”

Tech’s vet school to begin treating dog tumors with focused ultrasound – from The Roanoke Times:

“The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is partnering with the Virginia Tech’s veterinary school to offer the non-incision type of therapy for dogs.  Without stitches that can be chewed loose or become infected, dogs can recover without also enduring The Cone.  The foundation based in Charlottesville advances focused ultrasound as a less-invasive method for treating a number of diseases.  The technique sends a beam of concentrated sound waves into the body and can be used to perform surgery on difficult to reach places. It was approved last year for the treatment of nonessential tremors in people…”

Developing a new vaccination strategy against AIDS – from German Primate Center:

“According to the WHO, there are currently more than 36 million people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and a further 2.4 million become infected every year. Despite all the medical treatment success against the virus, an efficacious vaccine is of utmost importance. Infection researchers from the German Primate Center (DPZ) – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research have in cooperation with international colleagues tested a new vaccination strategy against the HIV-related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus monkeys…”

 

Header image by Zachary S.L. Foster (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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