This month in animal research August 17
Zebrafish 'host' human cancers
Zebrafish could be used to host human cancers, allowing tests to find the best drugs to use on tumours which are all different and can evolve.
Lithium in tap water may cut dementia
"In neurons in a dish and in mouse and fruit-fly models of Alzheimer's disease, lithium has been shown to be protective.
Tiny robots used to treat mice
Tiny micromotors - autonomous vehicles about the width of a human hair - were used to deliver drugs to the stomach of a mouse with a bacterial infection. The small robots moved through the mouse's body using bubbles to propel themselves.
"The tiny vehicles consist of a spherical magnesium core coated with several different layers that offer protection, treatment, and the ability to stick to stomach walls. After they are swallowed, the magnesium cores react with gastric acid to produce a stream of hydrogen bubbles that propel the motors around."
A better way to record EEG in mice
Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a new ultra lightweight wireless sensor that can record neural activity in the brains of mice. In a collaboration between Imperial College and Eli Lilly, and funded by the NC3Rs, the researchers created a smaller EEG recorder than could be used on mice.
Goldfish survive without oxygen by making alcohol
Goldfish are able to survive for months in icy ponds where there is a distinct lack of oxygen. This is done by converting lactic acid into alcohol, which is then dispersed through the gills. Levels of alcohol in the fishes' bodies can be well above drink-drive levels in many countries.
The global snakebite community has declared an antivenom crisis in response to a short supply in sub-Saharan Africa, where they are costly to manufacture, and limited financial incentive holds the development of new anti-venoms. The World Health Organisation has recently reintroduced snakebite on the list of neglected tropical diseases which may help create awareness.