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Rescooped by Aidan Hood from Cayo Scoop! The Ecology of Cayo Culture!

Belize Zoo gets a great mention

Belize Zoo gets a great mention | ALS animals |

Great account of going to the Belize zoo, the best little zoo in the world.  


"I read alot of great stuff about the Belize Zoo. I'm not a fan of animals in cages or enclosures. But I will always take time to support financially, a program that is actually making a difference in a country. Zoos around the world are great places to educate people about conservation and get them up close to animals. In poor countries it's the best way to convince locals that saving the animals is best for their country in the long run. Sometimes it takes seeing a wild animal up close to capture your heart for the rest of your life."

Via Best of Cayo
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Rescooped by Aidan Hood from Amazing Science!

UAB researchers completely cure type 1 diabetes in dogs with a single session of gene therapy

UAB researchers completely cure type 1 diabetes in dogs  with a single session of gene therapy | ALS animals |

Researchers at the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona have succeeded in completely curing type 1 diabetes in dogs with a single session of gene therapy. This is the first time that the disease has been cured in large animals, a fundamental step towards applying the therapy in humans. The study, based on introducing a "glucose sensor" into muscle, has been published in Diabetes, the most prestigious journal in this field. 

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), led by Fátima Bosch, have shown for the first time that it is possible to cure diabetes in large animals with a single session of gene therapy. As published this week in Diabetes, the principal journal for research on the disease, after a single gene therapy session, the dogs recover their health and no longer show symptoms of the disease. In some cases, monitoring continued for over four years, with no recurrence of symptoms.
The therapy is minimally invasive. It consists of a single session of various injections in the animal's rear legs using simple needles that are commonly used in cosmetic treatments. These injections introduce gene therapy vectors, with a dual objective: to express the insulin gene, on the one hand, and that of glucokinase, on the other. Glucokinase is an enzyme that regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood. When both genes act simultaneously they function as a "glucose sensor", which automatically regulates the uptake of glucose from the blood, thus reducing diabetic hyperglycemia (the excess of blood sugar associated with the disease).
As Fátima Bosch, the head researcher, points out, "this study is the first to demonstrate a long-term cure for diabetes in a large animal model using gene therapy.”
This same research group had already tested this type of therapy on mice, but the excellent results obtained for the first time with large animals lays the foundations for the clinical translation of this gene therapy approach to veterinary medicine and eventually to diabetic patients.
The study was led by the head of the UAB's Centre for Animal Biotechnology and Gene Therapy (CBATEG) Fàtima Bosch, and involved the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the UAB, the Department of Medicine and Animal Surgery of the UAB, the Faculty of Veterinary Science of the UAB, the Department of Animal Health and Anatomy of the UAB, the Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (USA) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Philadelphia (USA).
The study provides ample data showing the safety of gene therapy mediated by adeno-associated vectors (AAV) in diabetic dogs. The therapy has proved to be safe and efficacious: it is based on the transfer of two genes to the muscle of adult animals using a new generation of very safe vectors known as adeno-associated vectors. These vectors, derived from non-pathogenic viruses, are widely used in gene therapy and have been successful in treating several diseases.
In fact, the first gene therapy medicine ever approved by the European Medicines Agency, named Glybera®, makes use of adeno-associated vectors to treat a metabolic disease caused by a deficiency of lipoprotein lipase and the resulting accumulation of triglycerides in the blood.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Destiny Muniz's curator insight, October 24, 2013 7:27 PM

They inject numerious things into the hine legs this introduces the gene therapy vectors, with a dual objective Glucokinase and insuline. 
They say that the goal of this study is demonstrate a long term cure for diabetes in large animals using this type of method. This has been tested on mice before and now these are very good results from this test.

Angelica D. Ignacio's curator insight, December 6, 2013 4:03 PM

it is the first time autonma de barcelona have cured type 1 diabetes. They cured it in dogs with a single session of gene therapy. It is the first time it has been cured in a large animal. It is a fundamental step to humans. After the gene session the dogs recover there health and show no more symptoms of type 1 diabetes. They tested in mice aready it was the same. 

Rescooped by Aidan Hood from Bovine TB, badgers and cattle!

Bovine TB regulations crackdown call

Bovine TB regulations crackdown call | ALS animals |

Farmers are calling for tougher regulations to stop bovine TB spreading into less infected areas in the north of England.

Via Gordon McGlone
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Rescooped by Aidan Hood from Amazing Science!

165-million-year-old proto-mammal shows that traits like hair and fur originated well before the rise of mammals

165-million-year-old proto-mammal shows that traits like hair and fur originated well before the rise of mammals | ALS animals |

A newly discovered fossil reveals the evolutionary adaptations of a 165-million-year-old proto-mammal, providing evidence that traits such as hair and fur originated well before the rise of the first true mammals. The biological features of this ancient mammalian relative, named Megaconus mammaliaformis, were described by scientists from the University of Chicago in the Aug 8, 2013 issue of Nature.


"We finally have a glimpse of what may be the ancestral condition of all mammals, by looking at what is preserved in Megaconus. It allows us to piece together poorly understood details of the critical transition of modern mammals from pre-mammalian ancestors," said Zhe-Xi Luo, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago.


Discovered in Inner Mongolia, China, Megaconus is one of the best-preserved fossils of the mammaliaform groups, which are long-extinct relatives to modern mammals. Dated to be around 165 million years old,Megaconus co-existed with feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic era, nearly 100 million years before Tyrannosaurus Rex roamed Earth.


Preserved in the fossil is a clear halo of guard hairs and underfur residue, making Megaconus only the second known pre-mammalian fossil with fur. It was found with sparse hairs around its abdomen, leading the team to hypothesize that it had a naked abdomen.


On its heels, Megaconus possessed a long keratinous spur, which was possibly poisonous. Similar to spurs found on modern egg-laying mammals, such as male platypuses, the spur is evidence that this fossil was most likely a male member of its species.


"Megaconus confirms that many modern mammalian biological functions related to skin and integument had already evolved before the rise of modern mammals," said Luo, who was also part of the team that first discovered evidence of hair in pre-mammalian species in 2006 (Science, 331: 1123-1127, DOI:10.1126/science.1123026).


A terrestrial animal about the size of a large ground squirrel, Megaconuswas likely an omnivore, possessing clearly mammalian dental features and jaw hinge. Its molars had elaborate rows of cusps for chewing on plants, and some of its anterior teeth possessed large cusps that allowed it to eat insects and worms, perhaps even other small vertebrates. It had teeth with high crowns and fused roots similar to more modern, but unrelated, mammalian species such as rodents. Its high-crowned teeth also appeared to be slow growing like modern placental mammals.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Anela Leilani Kaiawe's curator insight, September 25, 2013 2:34 PM

this is a test run

Olivia Haltom's curator insight, December 6, 2013 2:44 PM

i think this is interesting because its talking anout an extinct animal from 165 million years ago.

Sydney Bolyard's curator insight, December 6, 2013 4:21 PM

This article reveals new found information stating that scientists have discovered a fossil of an animal (resembling a small squirrel), which leads to further discovery of evolution. The primary of form of evolution scientist are interested in are the adaptations of fur. Later in the article, it describes the hypothesis that scientists have formed as to what this newly discovered mammal's characteristics were likely to be. Any new discorvery of species is facinating because you figure how old the earth is and how long people have been around, and we are still finding new organisms.