Animal research news round up 10/05
The Daily Mail, in an earnest attempt to justify their drinking habits, reported that phenolic acid found in champagne dramatically improved the memory test performance of rats. Researchers from the University of Reading found that feeding rats champagne, mixed in with their regular feed, increased their test success rate from 50% to 70%.
An “anti-addiction vaccine” for heroine has been successfully tested in rats, and its creators are now looking for “a drug company or perhaps a philanthropist” to fund the clinical studies. The vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies against heroin.
Another potential vaccine, this time against spider venom: scientists in Brazil have created a vaccine to protect against spider bites, which they have successfully tested using rabbits. The synthetic protein causes the body to create antibodies against the spider venom, and is far safer than conventional anti-venoms that contain pure toxin and can cause even greater harm if mis-used.
Human bone grown in a petri dish from pluripotent stem cells has been successfully transplanted into living mice, Medical Daily reports. This work offers the future possibility of repairing damaged bones with replacement tissue rather than with artificial materials.
Another story from The Daily Mail reports on a new surgical technique for closing cuts. Gold nanorods wrapped inside an elastic material form a flexible seal that can move with the cut and reduce the likelihood of rupture. This technique has so far been trialled in pig intestines, where it successfully prevented abdominal infection.
Lastly, Nature have written an excellent editorial about the Pro-Test movement and the emergence of Pro-Test in Italy. Pro-Test Italia will hold their next demonstration on the 1st June.