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Rebooting Parkinson’s research with mini-brains

Parkinson's Disease is a neurological disorder primarily caused by degeneration of specific neurons that results in tremors, rigidity and loss of voluntary movement. Like many other devastating neurological diseases, treatment is limited and there is no cure. Millions of dollars have been invested over decades to study animal models with no real success.

Now a company in Luxembourg, Organo-Therapeutics, is directing its focus on utilizing human stem cell technologies to create “mini-brains” to develop treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.  Founders Javier Jarazo, PhD and Jens Schwamborn PhD, a professor at the University of Luxembourg, hope to demonstrate that disease research can be done without the use of animals.

 

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Pig organ transplants are not the answer

Recent news has touted the success of scientists to use genetic engineering on pigs, claiming this will make pig organs feasible for transplanting into humans.

Scientists have created gene-edited piglets that tested negative for viruses that could be transferred to humans.  Dr. George Church, a Harvard geneticist who led the experiments, claims that the first pig-to-human transplants could occur within the next two years. 

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FDA enlists virtual patients for in silico trials

Computational modeling is an exciting area of biomedical research that uses computers to simulate biological systems, referred to as “in silico” research.

In July French company, Dassault Systèmes, a pioneer in 3D design software and creator of the Living Heart Project, announced that its collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be extended for another 5 years.  This partnership, begun in 2014, focuses on in silico testing for potential therapeutic devices to treat heart disease.

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Pancreas-on-a-chip boosts cystic fibrosis research

The latest innovation in organs-on-chips is the pancreas-on-a-chip, which incorporates 3D organoid technology to enhance the chip’s performance. It was developed by scientists at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to study life-threatening cystic-fibrosis-related diabetes, a common complication for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients.  

The study, published in Nature Communications, finds that this in-vitro model of the human pancreas has enormous potential to elucidate the causes of CF related diabetes, while also noting the failures and limitations of previous animal research.

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News July 2019: Judge denies motion to dismiss CAARE's suit

Last week, a New York judge determined that CAARE’s lawsuit against the State University of NY College of Optometry (SUNY) can move forward by denying SUNY's motion to dismiss the case.

SUNY had tried to dispel our suit by asserting frivolous claims that had no foundation in fact or in the law. Their real goal was to block CAARE from obtaining the full details about terribly invasive and injurious experiments on cats that expose their brains, confine them in devices and put them through lengthy vision testing trials.

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Combatting the world’s deadliest viruses without animal tests

A new study conducted by an international conglomeration of scientists has found that human-based methods are more likely to produce successful results for studying treatments for deadly viruses than experiments on mice or monkeys.

The study, led by Dr. David Pamies at University of Lausanne in Switzerland, focused on a class of viruses known as mosquito-borne flaviviruses (MBF). These viruses are responsible for lethal and devastating diseases like dengue fever and Zika virus, which can cause catastrophic deformities in newborns.

The scholarly report examined human-mimetic approaches that include innovative technologies like induced pluripotent stem cell models, brain-specific organoids, in silico mathematical modeling, and others, all without the use of animals.

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Shop CAARE at CafePress

CAARE is happy to announce the opening of our CafePress store.

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World’s leading genomics institute to close animal lab

In a remarkable sign that support for animal research is declining, the world renowned Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK recently announced the upcoming closure of its animal research facility.

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Getting life-saving therapeutics to patients faster

At the heart of the wave of new technologies to replace animals in research are the biotech companies utilizing modern scientific methods that are fundamentally human, and not derived from animals.

CAARE recently connected with Dr. Jo Varshney, CEO and founder of VeriSIM Life. She established her company to solve the critical bottleneck in getting life-saving therapeutics from development to patients, a problem that is largely due to poor translatability from animal tests.

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Unlocking the power of human cells to study ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a tragic, progressive, and fatal disease that causes nerve cells to degenerate, resulting in the gradual loss of muscle control. Increasing weakness eventually disrupts the body’s ability to move, swallow, and even breathe.

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