This week in animal research 22/07/16
Research in mice pinpoints chemical receptor associated with OCD.
Researchers at Duke University have pinpointed a chemical receptor (mGluR5) that stimulates intrusive, obsessive thoughts and repeated compulsive behaviour associated with OCD. The study involved mice, genetically altered to display OCD tendencies. When the mice were fed a chemical to block mGluR5, the OCD behaviours abated instantaneously. The research will hopefully lead to the development of a treatment to help people who suffer with OCD, including around 742,000 people in Britain.
Vaccine against Chlamydia tested on mice.
Research, published in the journal Vaccine, shows that mice given the immunisation are more likely to fight off the infection. Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK and globally. There is currently no vaccine approved for human use.
Mice kept under constant light for six months were found to suffer from muscle loss.
Mice kept under constant light for six months were found to suffer from muscle loss and early signs of osteoporosis. Furthermore, the immune system of the mice began to react as if fighting an infection. Constant light is one technique used by some security services to break down the resistance of those they wish to interrogate.
A study in mice suggests genes play a key role in determining whether you will become obese.
Scientists at North Carolina State University got different strains of mice, and tested them on four diets. One strain became obese on "Western food", but were fine on an Atkins diet, another strain found the complete opposite. They also found that some mice ate more, while others simply became fatter on a smaller amount.
Scientists are developing artificial joints made of cartilage grown from our own cells.
Scientists are developing artificial joints made of cartilage grown from the cells of individuals. By using a patients' own cells, they can greatly reduce the risk of rejection. The joints also include a gene therapy to release anti-inflammatory molecules to help those with arthritis. These implants are currently undergoing animal tests to see their viability, and if all goes well they hope to test them in humans in 3-5 years.
The Home Office has published the 2015 animal research statistics showing the number and types of procedures conducted in England, Scotland and Wales.
In 2015, GB conducted 4,142,631 procedures, up 0.5% from 2013. The Home Office has explained that comparisons with 2014 are likely to be understated in last year’s statistics due to it being the first year of a new system of counting animal procedures. For this reason, comparisons below will be with 2013.
Of the 4.14 million procedures, 2.08 million were experimental procedures and 2.06 million were fir the creation or maintenance of GM animals not included in other procedures.