Tag Archives: Laboratory Animal Science

Parasitic infection may have spoiled zebrafish experiments

A common parasite that infects laboratory zebrafish may have been confounding the results of years of behavioural experiments, researchers say – but critics say the case isn’t proven. Like the rat, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) is used in labs worldwide to study everything from the effects of drugs, to genetic diseases and disorders such as […]

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* New technique helps link complex mouse behaviors to genes that influence them

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Mice are one of the most commonly used laboratory organisms, widely used to study everything from autism to infectious diseases. Yet genomic studies in mice have lagged behind those in humans. “Genome-wide association studies — matching genes to diseases and other traits — have been a big deal in human genetics for the past decade,” […]

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US government issues historic $3.5-million fine over animal welfare

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Antibody provider Santa Cruz Biotechnology settles with government after complaints about treatment of goats. Santa Cruz Biotech has used goats to produce antibodies. The US government has fined Santa Cruz Biotechnology, a major antibody provider, US$3.5 million over alleged violations of the US Animal Welfare Act. The penalty from the US Department of Agriculture is […]

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* Scientists still fail to record age and sex of lab mice

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The largest-ever analysis of the quality of mouse studies reveals that as recently as 2014, only around 50% of research papers recorded both the sex and age of the animals used — key details needed for others to assess and reproduce the research. The analysis, which used software to trawl through the text of more […]

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Thousands of goats and rabbits vanish from major biotech lab

Santa Cruz Biotechnology has used goats to make antibodies for research. In July 2015, the major antibody provider Santa Cruz Biotechnology owned 2,471 rabbits and 3,202 goats. Now the animals have vanished, according to a recent federal inspection report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The company, which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is […]

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Proposal to ban imported monkeys catches scientists off guard

Australian bill provokes rush of protests ahead of parliamentary deadline. Nicholas Price works to understand the brain’s fundamental functions, with a view towards developing a bionic eye. The neuroscientist uses marmosets and macaques in his experiments at Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Melbourne. In late January, he was shocked to discover a bill before […]

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Zika researchers release real-time data on viral infection study in monkeys

Researchers in the United States who have infected monkeys with Zika virus made their first data public last week.  But instead  of publishing them in a journal, they have released them online for anyone to view- and are updating their results day by day. The team is posting raw data on the amount of virus detected […]

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Proposal to ban imported monkeys catches scientists off guard

Nicholas Price works to understand the brain’s fundamental functions, with a view towards developing a bionic eye. The neuroscientist uses marmosets and macaques in his experiments at Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Melbourne. In late January, he was shocked to discover a bill before the Australian Parliament that calls for a ban on the […]

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Team suppresses oxidative stress, neuronal death associated with Alzheimer’s disease

The brain is an enormous network of communication, containing over 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, with branches that connect at more than 100 trillion points. They are constantly sending signals through a vast neuron forest that forms memories, thoughts and feelings; these patterns of activity form the essence of each person. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) […]

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Brain boost: Research to improve memory through electricity?

In a breakthrough study that could improve how people learn and retain information, researchers at the Catholic University Medical School in Rome significantly boosted the memory and mental performance of laboratory mice through electrical stimulation. The study, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global, involved the use of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or […]

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Web tool aims to reduce flaws in animal studies

A free online tool that visualizes the design of animal experiments and gives critical feedback could save scientists from embarking on poorly designed research, the software’s developers hope. Over the past few years, researchers have picked out numerous flaws in the design and reporting of published animal experiments, which, they warn, could lead to bias. […]

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Legal tussle delays launch of huge toxicity database

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A database of the toxicity of nearly 10,000 chemicals might reduce the need for animal safety-testing. A giant database on the health risks of nearly 10,000 chemicals will make it easier to predict the toxicity of tens of thousands of consumer products for which no data exist, say researchers. But a legal disagreement means they […]

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A mouse’s house may ruin experiments

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Mice are sensitive to minor changes in food, bedding and light exposure. It’s no secret that therapies that look promising in mice rarely work in people. But too often, experimental treatments that succeed in one mouse population do not even work in other mice, suggesting that many rodent studies may be flawed from the start. […]

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* Researchers’ preclinical trial upends conventional wisdom about responses to fear

In a new study researchers found that female rats often respond to fear by ‘darting.’ For more than a century scientists have recognized ‘freezing’ as the natural fear response. But in a new study found that female rats often respond to fear by ‘darting.’ The findings not only raise questions about the veracity of previous […]

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* Surge in support for animal-research guidelines

Journals throw their weight behind checklist for rigorous animal experiments. More than 600 research journals have now signed up to voluntary guidelines that are designed to improve the reporting of animal experiments. Scientists have repeatedly pointed out that many published papers on animal studies suffer from poor study design and sloppy reporting — leaving the […]

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Poorly-designed animal experiments in the spotlight

Preclinical research to test drugs in animals suffers from a “substantial” risk of bias because of poor study design, even when it is published in the most-acclaimed journals or done at top-tier institutions, an analysis of thousands of papers suggests. “You can’t rely on where the work was done or where it was published.” Scientists […]

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Self-propelled powder designed to stop severe bleeding

UBC researchers have created the first self-propelled particles capable of delivering coagulants against the flow of blood to treat severe bleeding, a potentially huge advancement in trauma care. “Bleeding is the number one killer of young people, and maternal death from postpartum hemorrhage can be as high as one in 50 births in low resource […]

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* An inside look at the first pig biobank

Boar 1339 was genetically engineered to have diabetes; its body parts, now in the Munich MIDY-PIG Biobank in Germany, are freely available to researchers. First out is a kidney: its dark red fades to beige as it is washed of its blood. The pancreas, harder to find amid the tangle of inner organs, is rushed […]

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New compound prevents type 1 diabetes in animal models, before it begins

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Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have successfully tested a potent synthetic compound that prevents type 1 diabetes in animal models of the disease. “The animals in our study never developed high blood sugar indicative of diabetes, and beta cell damage was significantly reduced compared to animals that hadn’t been […]

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How much does the public support animal research? Depends on the question

Embattled U.K. biomedical researchers are drawing some comfort from a new survey showing that a sizable majority of the public continues to support the use of animals in research. But there’s another twist that should interest social scientists as well: The government’s decision this year to field two almost identical surveys on the topic offers […]

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UK institutions sign up to animal-research openness

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British research organizations hope that more disclosure on how and why they conduct animal studies will shore up public support of their work. A who’s who of the United Kingdom’s most respected life-sciences organizations has today signed a document committing them to be open about animal research. In the so-called ‘concordat’, 72 organizations including universities, […]

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Misleading mouse studies waste medical resources

A running joke among health researchers is that everything has been cured — in mice. However that may not be always true. The failure of experimental drugs that had once looked promising could have been prevented with better animal studies, according to a re-examination of past clinical trials. “I hear too many stories about patients […]

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First glimpse of brain circuit that helps experience to shape perception

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In work published today in Nature Neuroscience, scientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) demonstrate for the first time a way to observe this process in awake animals. The team, led by Assistant Professor Stephen Shea, was able to measure the activity of a group of inhibitory neurons that links the odor-sensing area of the […]

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Discovery of a ‘conductor’ in muscle development could impact on the treatment of muscular diseases

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A team led by Jean-François Côté, researcher at the IRCM, identified a ”conductor” in the development of muscle tissue. The discovery, published online by the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), could have an important impact on the treatment of muscular diseases such as myopathies and muscular dystrophies. For several years, […]

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UK ‘absolutely committed’ to reducing animals used in research

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Government stands by pledge but shies away from hard target as number of experiments rises. The UK government says that it will intensify steps to reduce the use of animals in laboratory research. British ministers insisted today that they are still committed to reducing the number of animals used in research, but warned that this […]

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Scientists reprogram skin cells into insulin-producing pancreas cells

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A cure for type 1 diabetes has long eluded even the top experts. Not because they do not know what must be done — but because the tools did not exist to do it. But now scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, harnessing the power of regenerative medicine, have developed a technique in animal models that […]

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Report slams university’s animal research

Imperial College London accepts heavy criticism from independent reviewers after exposé by animal-rights group. The treatment of laboratory animals at one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious universities came under severe criticism today from an independent review set up in the wake of allegations of malpractice. Imperial College London’s animal-research facilities are understaffed, under-resourced and […]

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For first time, drug developed based on zebrafish studies passes Phase I clinical trial

Zebrafish research achieved a significant milestone when the first drug developed through studies utilizing the tiny animal and then put into clinical trials passed a Phase 1 trial aimed at establishing its safety. The drug, discovered in the laboratory of Leonard Zon, MD, at Boston Children’s Hospital, has already advanced to Phase II studies designed […]

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Knockout mouse grows larger, but weaker, muscles

Although muscle cells did not reduce in size or number in mice lacking a protective antioxidant protein, they were weaker than normal muscle cells, researchers from the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio found. The scientists, who are faculty in the university’s School of […]

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New animal model may lead to treatments for common liver disease

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Scientists at Texas Biomed have developed the laboratory opossum as a new animal model to study the most common liver disease in the nation — afflicting up to 15 million Americans — and for which there is no cure. The condition, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little […]

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