This week in animal research 23 September 2016
Ninety research centers, universities, scientific societies, and companies around Spain have adopted a set of standards, launched yesterday by the Confederation of Spanish Scientific Societies (COSCE), on how research organizations should open up communication channels about their use of laboratory animals. They are joining a growing movement for transparency in Europe.
Although animal research is generally accepted in Spain as beneficial, “part of the society is opposed to this type of research or isn’t sure about supporting it,” Juan Lerma, a professor at the Institute of Neurosciences of Alicante, Spain, who coordinated a COSCE commission on the use of animal research, wrote in the document. The signatories want to help the public better understand the benefits, costs, and limitations of animal research through a “realistic” description of the expected results, the impact on animals' welfare, and ethical considerations.
Playing the goat wins an igNobel prize
The others are good too ...
The late Ahmed Shafik, for studying the effects of wearing polyester, cotton, or wool trousers on the sex life of rats, and for then conducting similar tests with human males.
Evelyne Debey, Maarten De Schryver, Gordon Logan, Kristina Suchotzki, and Bruno Verschuere, for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers.
Avoid flat-faced dogs
Pugs, bulldogs, French bulldogs and shih-tzus have become sought-after in the UK, despite wide-ranging health problems.
Sean Wensley, president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: "Prospective owners need to consider that these dogs can suffer from a range of health problems, from eye ulcers to severe breathing difficulties. "We strongly encourage people to choose a healthier breed or a crossbreed instead."
Battersea Dogs Home and Bluecross Animal Rescue received a total of 314 "flat-faced" dogs in 2015. Both charities said they were carrying out surgical procedures to clear the airways of the dogs they brought in - removing obstructive pieces of tissue and widening nostrils.
Mice engineered to have Huntington’s have an altered immune response & are more likely to die from common infections
Researchers at the University of Wyoming have discovered that mice engineered to have Huntington’s disease have an altered immune response and are more likely to die due to common infections. Whilst the researchers refuse to speculate if the response is the same in humans, they believe that this could be a factor contributing to the variability of when Huntington’s symptoms appear in humans. The results from this study could also reveal facts about the interaction between infectious diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and prion diseases, in humans.
IMPC identifies mutant traits in mice for 52 human disease genes, contributing to understanding human diseases
The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium, a multi-institutional research collaboration, has identified mutant traits in the mouse for 52 human disease genes. This will significantly contribute to the understanding of human diseases such as cardiovascular defects, spina bifida, and metabolic disorders. The IMPC is assessing the physiological characteristics of mutations for all of the protein-coding genes in the mouse genome, aiming to discover new functions for the roughly 20,000 genes mice share with humans. Making all of these mouse strains available to provide a platform for better understanding the mechanisms of human disease.
Greyhound research is key to heart transplants
Research into heart transplants conducted on dogs in Australia has caused some controversy. Activists had written to newspapers and condemned the research as "cruel". In this article Kemal Atlay explains the reality of the important research that is being conducted at Monash University.