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In Mice, Neutrophils Seek Help When an Injury is Infected

May 19, 2015 | by Elizabeth Doughman, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

Neutrophils, which form the bulk of our immune system, behave differently depending on whether an injury is infected or not, according to a new study in mice by the Garvan Institute.

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Why the Y Chromosome Matters

May 29, 2015 10:34 am | Comments

Several genes have been lost from the Y chromosome in humans and other mammals, according to research published in the open access journal Genome Biology. The study shows that essential Y genes are rescued by relocating to other chromosomes, and it identifies a potentially important genetic factor in male infertility.

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Brain Signals Contain the Code for Your Next Move

May 29, 2015 10:18 am | by Hege Tunstad, Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Comments

Is it possible to tap into the signaling in the brain to figure out where you will go next? A new study using rats says yes.

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Tumor Surroundings Affect Progression of Different Cancer Subtypes in Mouse Study

May 29, 2015 10:04 am | Comments

Our environment can have a major impact on how we develop, and it turns out it’s no different for cancer cells. In work published in Neoplasia, a team of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) found that two different mouse models of breast cancer progressed differently based on characteristics of the tumor microenvironment – the area of tissue in which the tumor is embedded.

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What We're Reading On the Web This Week

May 29, 2015 9:53 am | by Elizabeth Doughman, Editor-in-Chief | Comments

Welcome to a new feature where we bring you our favorite stories on the web this week about laboratory animal science. This week, the stories include how breast cancer modifies bone to spread, that mice in space develop thinner skin, the discovery of a gene that makes people immune to pain, and more!

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A Robot that Can Perform Brain Surgery on a Fruit Fly

May 28, 2015 10:54 am | by John Markoff, The New York Times | Comments

On a small darkened platform a handful of fruit flies wander aimlessly. There is a brief flash of light and a robotic arm darts downward, precisely targeting a fly’s thorax, a moving target roughly the size of a pinhead. The fly seems unfazed, appearing not to notice that it has been snatched by a high-speed laboratory robot.

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How the Upgraded Zebrafish Facility at Boston Children's Will Boost Drug Research

May 28, 2015 10:46 am | by Don Seiffert, Boston Business Journal | Comments

For 20 years, Leonard Zon has been a pioneer in drug research at Boston Children’s Hospital based on a one inch-long sea animal known as the zebrafish. Today, Zon and the hospital showcased a $4 million upgrade to the hospital’s zebrafish facility, thanks to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which will ensure the region stays at the forefront of such research for years to come.

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Transcription Factors Induce Growth of Sensory Hair Cells in the Ear

May 28, 2015 10:36 am | Comments

Scientists have developed a simple and efficient protocol to generate inner ear hair cells, the cells responsible for our hearing and sense of balance, using mice stem cells. This study is an important step for the future production of large numbers of these cells for use in cell transplantation therapies or large-scale drug screens.

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Disruption During Early Embryogenesis in Zebrafish Leads to Autism Spectrum Disorder

May 28, 2015 10:25 am | Comments

Researchers are utilizing animal models to understand how dysfunction of either of two genes associated with ASD, SYNGAP1 and SHANK 3, contributes to risk in ASD. The new findings pinpoint the actual place and time where these genes exert influence in brain development and function. The findings are published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.

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Animal Study Identifies Possible Role for Carbon Monoxide in Treating Hemorrhagic Stroke

May 27, 2015 11:49 am | Comments

Carbon monoxide is known by many as a poisonous gas that causes brain injury and other neurological symptoms, including memory loss and confusion. But a new study suggests the opposite may be true: When administered in small, carefully controlled amounts, carbon monoxide may actually protect the brain from damage following subarachnoid hemorrhage, a devastating stroke that results from bleeding in the brain.

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Changes in DNA During Withdrawal Spur Treatments for Addiction in Rats

May 27, 2015 11:21 am | Comments

One of the major challenges of cocaine addiction is the high rate of relapse after periods of withdrawal and abstinence. But new research reveals that changes in our DNA during drug withdrawal may offer promising ways of developing more effective treatments for addiction.

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Nanotechnology Identifies Brain Tumor Types Through MRI "Virtual Biopsy" in Animal Studies

May 27, 2015 10:29 am | Comments

Biomedical researchers at Cedars-Sinai have invented a tiny drug-delivery system that can identify cancer cell types in the brain through "virtual biopsies" and then attack the molecular structure of the disease. If laboratory research with mice is borne out in human studies, the results could be used to deliver nano-scale drugs that can distinguish and fight tumor cells in the brain without resorting to surgery.

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Researchers Grow Human Cancer Cells in Mouse Colon

May 27, 2015 10:16 am | by Anne Ju, Cornell University | Comments

Every day, it seems, someone in some lab is “curing cancer.” Well, it’s easy to kill cancer cells in a lab, but in a human, it’s a lot more complicated, which is why nearly all cancer drugs fail clinical trials. Taking steps to bridge this divide, researchers have created a comprehensive mouse model of exactly how colorectal tumors behave in real life - not just in a petri dish.

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Removing Mutant P53 Significantly Improves Cancer Survival in Mouse Model

May 27, 2015 10:07 am | Comments

Removing accumulated mutant p53 protein from a cancer model showed that tumors regress significantly and survival increases. This finding, by an international team of cancer researchers, is reported in a paper published advanced online May 25 in Nature.

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A new study has demonstrated that a protein called Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is critical for the Ebola virus to infect a host. The study suggests that drugs that block NPC1 could be used to treat this deadly disease.

New Target for Ebola Drugs Found in Mice

May 26, 2015 12:29 pm | by American Society For Microbiology | Comments

A new study has demonstrated that a protein called Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is critical for the Ebola virus to infect a host. The study suggests that drugs that block NPC1 could be used to treat this deadly disease.

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Obesity may be tougher on male immune systems than females, a new study in mice suggests. With the risk for obesity-associated diseases significantly higher for men than women, researchers compared how mice from each sex reacted to high-fat diets.

Obese Male Mice Produce More Disease-Promoting Immune Cells Than Females

May 26, 2015 12:14 pm | by University of Michigan | Comments

Obesity may be tougher on male immune systems than females, a new study in mice suggests. With the risk for obesity-associated diseases significantly higher for men than women, researchers compared how mice from each sex reacted to high-fat diets.

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