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Archive for the ‘ANIMALS’ Category

Japanese woman dies from tick disease after cat bites her..

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

A Japanese woman died last year of a tick-borne disease after being bitten by a stray cat, Japan’s health ministry says, in what could be the first such mammal-to-human transmission.

The unnamed woman in her 50s had been helping the apparently sick cat.

Ten days later she died of Severe Fever with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (SFTS), which is carried by ticks.

With no tick bite detected, doctors assume the illness could have been contracted via the cat.

“No reports on animal-to-human transmission cases have been made so far,” a Japanese health ministry official told the AFP news agency.

“It’s still not confirmed the virus came from the cat, but it’s possible that it is the first case,” the official added.

SFTS is a relatively new infectious disease emerging in China, Korea and Japan.

The virus is said to have fatality rates of up to 30% and is especially severe in people over 50.

According to Japanese media, SFTS first occurred in the country in 2013.

Japan’s health ministry said last year’s death was still a rare case but warned people to be careful when in contact with animals in poor physical condition.

Globally, tick bites are widely associated with transmitting Lyme disease which can lead to severe illness and death if left untreated.

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Henry Sapiecha

Diabetes cured in mice. What next? Human Trials

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The new technique cures diabetes in mice by bypassing the immune system that attacks beta cells

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.25 million people suffer from type 1 diabetes in the US alone. So far, it can only be managed with diet and regular doses of insulin, but scientists at UT Health San Antonio have invented a way of curing the disease in mice that may one day do the same for humans even with type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a particularly unpleasant condition. It occurs when the pancreas ceases to produce the insulin needed by the body to metabolize sugar and, until the invention of artificial insulin injections, it was as deadly as cancer. Type 2 is the less severe form of the disease, where the body produces insufficient insulin; it can often be managed through diet alone.

Surprisingly, diabetes is an autoimmune disease. Insulin is made by specialized cells in the pancreas, called beta cells, and sometimes the body’s immune system turns against itself and attacks these beta cells, destroying them. Diabetes results when this destruction is over 80 percent.

Invented by Bruno Doiron and Ralph DeFronzo, the UT Health technique uses gene transfer to alter cells in the pancreases of mice to make them think they’re beta cells and start making insulin. This involves taking selected genes from external beta cells and using viruses as carriers to move them into the new host cells, in the diabetic pancreas.

Bruno Doiron (left), and Ralph DeFronzo co-invented a technique that has cured diabetes in mice for one year without side effects (Credit: UT Health)

According to DeFronzo, the altered cells then produce insulin, but only in the presence of sugar, which is how a functioning beta cell is supposed to work. Otherwise, the cells would just keep cranking out the hormone, metabolizing all the sugar in the bloodstream and causing hypoglycemia.

Only about 20 percent of the lost cells need to be replaced, but if new beta cells are simply introduced, it’s likely that the body would attack and destroy them as well. One big advantage of this technique is that it works around the autoimmune system, which ignores the altered cells.

“If a type 1 diabetic has been living with these cells for 30, 40 or 50 years, and all we’re getting them to do is secrete insulin, we expect there to be no adverse immune response,” says DeFronzo.

The team emphasizes that there is a large gap between curing diabetic mice and achieving the same in human beings. They say that they’d like to start clinical trials in three years, but more animal testing is needed first at a cost of about US$5 million, as well as making an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for investigational new drug approval.

“It worked perfectly,” says Doiron. “We cured mice for one year without any side effects. That’s never been seen. But it’s a mouse model, so caution is needed. We want to bring this to large animals that are closer to humans in physiology of the endocrine system.”

Source: UT Health

Henry Sapiecha

Replica mussel glue could revolutionise wound surgery video shows

Friday, December 5th, 2014
Published on 4 Dec 2014

Scientists have created a soluble, self-healing glue that works underwater, based on the natural properties of the common mussel, a favoured delicacy of seafood lovers.

Henry Sapiecha

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Bats may be part of Ebola solution as well as source of outbreak: Scientist

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Fruit bats for sale at a food market in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo, December 15, 2005. image www.newcures.info

Fruit bats for sale at a food market in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo, December 15, 2005

A CSIRO research scientist says bats’ immune systems could hold the key to fighting viruses like Ebola.

Bats are suspected of being the natural host for the Ebola virus.

Dr Michelle Baker says the animals are capable of carrying large loads of the virus without suffering so much as a fever.

“If you’re a virus and your primary goal in life is to reproduce and survive, you don’t necessarily want to kill your host really quickly, so bats and viruses have achieved a nice equilibrium,” she said.

Bats live with Ebola by having certain components of their immune system constantly switched on so they are prepared before the virus enters their system.

“What we need to do now is learn how bats tolerate high levels of activation of the immune system, constantly, without any detrimental effects,” Dr Baker said.

In contrast, the immune system of humans is only activated after contact with the virus.

Initially the virus shuts down the early response which then leads to a deadly overreaction.

“By the time our immune system is activated, the virus is already out of control,” Dr Baker said.

“At this point, our immune system produces a huge pro-inflammatory response.

“The immune system’s primary role is to destroy the virus but in the case of an infection such as Ebola, when the immune system is activated to a very high level, it’s actually more damaging to the host than it is beneficial.

“A lot of the internal and external bleeding we see is actually a consequence of the immune system over-responding to the infection.”

The way bats respond to viruses could provide a clue to successfully treating deadly infections like Ebola, but translating bat immunity into humans is also problematic because over-activation of the immune system can be so damaging.

“I think we’ve got a long way to go until we come up with a therapeutic we can translate from what we’re learning from bats into humans.”

Eating, butchering fruit bats causing Ebola transmission to humans

African fruit bats first pass the virus to primates and then to humans.

Dr Baker said transmission usually occurred through meat derived from a wild animal.

“A lot of the small villages in West Africa rely on bush meat as a primary form of protein in their diet,” she said.

“So the primary risk factor is butchering and handling of the raw meat.

“We know that primates get very sick from Ebola virus so they may be acting as a secondary reservoir for Ebola.”

CSIRO’s Biosecurity Flagship director Dr Kurt Zuelke said the Ebola outbreaks and others like it, such as Hendra, Avian Influenza and SARS were the result of increased interaction between humans and wildlife.

“We see animals and people living in closer proximity as urban areas move into more rural areas,” he said.

“Three quarters of the new diseases in people are coming from animals as we see increased mobility of people.

Henry Sapiecha

CANE TOAD TOXIN ATTACKS PROSTATE CANCER CELLS IN HUMANS

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Cane toad poison ‘attacks prostate cancer cells’

Researchers find cane toad poison kills off prostate cancer cells while sparing healthy cells.

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Henry Sapiecha

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VAMPIRE BAT VENOM COULD BE THE ANSWER TO BLOOD PRESSURE PROBLEMS

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

VAMPIRE BAT VENOM ANTICOAGULANTS TO BE USED FOR DRUG DEVELOPMENT

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Vampire bat venom could prove the key ingredient in future medication for stroke and high blood pressure after an international team of scientists identified ”a whole suite” of ways bats prevent blood from clotting.

Led by the University of Queensland’s Bryan Fry, the researchers found three new types of anticoagulants and two new compounds that open arteries in the skin to increase blood flow.

Discovered in the venom of the common vampire bat from Central and South America, Professor Fry said the compounds had significant potential for future drug design and development.

”We found a whole suite of novel stuff in the venom,” Professor Fry said. ”There are things that are blocking clot aggregation which would obviously be very good for potential blood thinners.”

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Professor Fry said he was surprised to see how complex and diverse the venom was – one class of anti-platelet compounds had 50 different versions. Such variety makes the venom particularly efficient, as it is unlikely the animal being bitten repeatedly will develop antibodies to each of the 50 strains.

The results, published in the Journal of Proteomics, also identified novel compounds which are yet to be fully understood.

Taipan.A preserved taipan.

”It just goes to show you need to preserve everything because you can’t predict where the next wonder drug will come from. It could be from something as unlikely as this creature of nightmares.”

Professor Fry said synthetic versions of the compounds could be made for use in follow-up studies and ultimately drug production. He said some of the compounds could be longer-lasting or more potent anticoagulants than those used in existing treatments.

”It’s an exciting, new, rich resource,” he said.

There are three types of vampire bats but researchers concentrated on the common vampire bat because it is considered the most evolved.

■ Meanwhile: snakes, redback spiders, platypuses and jellyfish are among the creatures on display at an exhibition on Australia’s history of pioneering research into antivenom.

The free exhibition, Venom: Fear, Fascination and Discovery, is on at Melbourne University’s Medical History Museum until July 20. See museum.medicine.unimelb.edu.au for more information.

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Henry Sapiecha

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DOG VIDEO SHOWS DOG GIVES BIRTH TO PUP WITH HUMAN FEATURES

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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Henry Sapiecha

HUMAN BORN FROM APE SURROGATE SHOWN IN THIS VIDEO

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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Henry Sapiecha

VIDEO SHOWS NEWBORN PIGLET WITH HUMAN HEAD

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

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Henry Sapiecha

THE CLONING OF A WOOLY MAMMOTH CAN NOW BE POSSIBLE THEY SAY BECAUSE OF LIQUID BLOOD IN A CARCASS FIND

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

WOOLY MAMMOTH CARCASS 10,000 YEARS OLD FOUND WITH BLOOD

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Russian scientists claim they have discovered blood in the carcass of a woolly mammoth, adding that the rare find could boost their chances of cloning the prehistoric animal.

An expedition led by Russian scientists earlier this month uncovered the well-preserved carcass of a female mammoth on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean.

Semyon Grigoryev, the head of the expedition, said the animal died at the age of around 60 some 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, and that it was the first time that an old female had been found.

But what was more surprising was that the carcass was so well preserved that it still had blood and muscle tissue.
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“When we broke the ice beneath her stomach, the blood flowed out from there, it was very dark,” Grigoryev, who is a scientist at the Yakutsk-based Northeastern Federal University, told AFP.

“This is the most astonishing case in my entire life. How was it possible for it to remain in liquid form? And the muscle tissue is also red, the colour of fresh meat,” he added.

Grigoryev said that the lower part of the carcass was very well preserved as it ended up in a pool of water that later froze over. The upper part of the body including the back and the head are believed to have been eaten by predators, he added.

“The forelegs and the stomach are well preserved, while the hind part has become a skeleton.”

The discovery, Grigoryev said, gives new hope to researchers in their quest to bring the woolly mammoth back to life.

“This find gives us a really good chance of finding live cells which can help us implement this project to clone a mammoth,” he said.

“Previous mammoths have not had such well-preserved tissue.”

Last year, Grigoryev’s Northeastern Federal University signed a deal with cloning pioneer Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, who in 2005 created the world’s first cloned dog.

In the coming months, mammoth specialists from South Korea, Russia and the United States are expected to study the remains which the Russian scientists are now keeping at an undisclosed northern location

“I won’t say where it is being kept or it may get stolen,” he said.

Last year, a teenager from a nomadic family in Russia’s north stumbled upon a massive well-preserved woolly mammoth, in what scientists described as the best such discovery since 1901.

The young male mammoth was dubbed Zhenya after the nickname of the boy who discovered it.

Global warming has thawed ground in northern Russia that is usually almost permanently frozen, leading to the discoveries of a number of mammoth remains

Are humans next to be cloned?

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