28 de Novembro de 2022

 

EARA News Digest 2022 - Week 48


Welcome to your Monday morning update, from EARA, on the latest news in biomedical science, policy and openness on animal research. 

HIV can also damage the brain

Monkeys infected with a virus similar to HIV can develop symptoms linked to brain diseases, researchers in the Netherlands have found.

A study, led by EARA member the Biomedical Primate Research Centre, together with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, USA, studied the brain tissue of humans with HIV, as well as healthy macaque monkeys and those with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), which is closely related to HIV.

The researchers saw that some of the infected macaques showed neurological symptoms, and that these effects were not only associated with more of the virus in the brain, but also bacterial molecules which are normally excluded in a healthy brain.

It is thought that bacterial molecules may activate key immune cells in the brain that increase inflammation, thereby driving brain diseases.

HIV works by damaging the immune system and can lead to AIDS, which is potentially life-threatening. Although the virus can be suppressed with drugs, there is still no cure and medications can cause health complications, such as the development of diabetes at a younger age.

World AIDS Day will take place on Thursday this week.

 

 

Brain and breathing ‘closely linked’ in animals and humans

Using animal and human brain imaging studies, researchers have revealed how the act of breathing can shape the brain.

A study led by Aarhus University, Denmark, analysed more than a dozen studies of rodents, monkeys and humans to devise a computational model that explains how the rhythms of the brain and breathing are linked.

The team found that the brain seems to be more sensitive to its environment when breathing in, and ‘tunes out’ more when breathing out.

Understanding the effect of breathing rhythms on the brain, including on mood and behaviour, may also help to shed light on certain mental health conditions.

Professor Micah Allen at Aarhus (pictured), said: “Difficulty breathing is associated with a very large increase in the risk for mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

"And we know that respiration, respiratory illness, and psychiatric disorders are closely linked.”

 

 

Lab animal monitoring for better science

An EU initiative to improve the home cage monitoring of rodents used in research, has published a report on its first year of progress.  

The European Co-operation in Science and Technology’s Action consortium (COST TEATIME) includes more than 120 researchers from across Europe, and was set up to develop better monitoring of the behaviour of lab rodents – such as sensor implants and video – without the stress of removing them from their cages, thereby improving the quality of research.

COST Actions are EU-funded networks that bring together researchers in science and technology to collaborate on a project of their choice for four years.

Among the members of TEATIME are EARA Twitter ambassadors Maša Čater and Stefano Gaburro.

At the FELASA 2022 conference, this summer,TEATIME members (pictured) explained the value of new technology to improve monitoring of animal welfare and collection of research data, for example on an animal’s response to treatment.

The first year concluded with a training school, of TEATIME experts, that gave 24 students the opportunity to learn how to reliably assess rodent behaviour and welfare.

Looking forward the consortium noted that with the release of two new COST Actions, on the 3Rs in biomedical science and genome editing to treat diseases, there are also opportunities for TEATIME to find common ground more widely within COST.

 

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