This week in animal research 05/08/16

5 August 2016

Posted by: UAR news team

Category: Research & medical benefits


Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is affecting monkeys after being infected by humans

There are many diseases which can move from humans to animals - called zoonoses. Unsurprisingly, there are also diseases which move the other way. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria - which causes boils and skin infections - has mutated from humans to infect green monkeys in The Gambia. Such transmissions are dangerous as the new host species often has little or no natural immunity to the disease. It is believed the transmission happened through humans feeding the monkeys peanuts.


Mouse model used to develop treatment that targets LRRK2 gene in Parkinson's

Scientists hope by studying the LRRK2 gene, which is believed to cause inherited Parkinson's, that they can bring new treatments to bear on the disease. The new method, which was developed using a mouse model, analysed how much of the Rab10 protein has been deactivated - a measure of heightened LRRK2 protein activity. The work is being conducted at the University of Dundee.


Limber Tail - a painful condition dogs - may be more common than previously thought

Limber Tail - a painful condition affecting the tails of dogs - may be more common than previous thought according to research at the University of Edinburgh. Researchers found that dogs living with the condition were more likely to live up north, leading them to believe that the condition may be linked to the cold.


Anemone can repair their sensing cells.

These cells resemble the hair cells of the inner ear and damage to these leads to hearing loss.

The researchers found evidence mice produce many proteins that are closely related to the sea anemone repair proteins, suggesting that it may be possible to mobilise the same repair mechanisms in mammals with damaged hearing.

The scientists, who reported their findings in the Journal of Experimental Biology, hope the early research will eventually lead to a treatment for patients with acute hearing loss.


Treating diabetes by attaching electrodes to nerves which control insulin production?

Animal studies have shown that by attaching a silicone "cuff", containing electrodes, around a nerve, scientists can control the nerve's messaging by sending electrical impulses. The studies suggest such approaches may help treat type-2 diabetes, using electrical signals to force the body to produce insulin. Galvani Bioelectronics is hoping to bring a human treatment to bear within seven years.


The Biochemical Society reflect on their recent visit to an animal facility at King’s College London


Last edited: 5 August 2016 14:54