Highlights from Nature’s Q&A

Today (about 5 minutes ago), Nature ran an online Q&A session on the subject of animal research to fit in with its latest special editorial on the topic. There was a lot of interesting background to the Q&A session in the latest issue including a the results of a poll of around 1,000 scientists. Over … Continue reading Highlights from Nature’s Q&A

The Animal Researcher who Refused to Hide

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) highlights a recurring theme in the struggle between researchers engaged in responsible, legitimate scientific study of animal subjects and critics of that research. That is, an open willingness of a few fanatical elements within the animal rights movement to embrace violent acts and an … Continue reading The Animal Researcher who Refused to Hide

Overcoming paralysis: From Monkey to Man at the University of Pittsburgh

On Friday the New York Times reported that scientists at the University of Pittsburgh are ready to start clinical trials of two different brain implant systems, known as brain machine interfaces,  that aim to give quadriplegic patients control over a prosthetic limb. In the main project a team led by Professor Andrew Schwartz and Professor … Continue reading Overcoming paralysis: From Monkey to Man at the University of Pittsburgh

Advancing gene therapy, debunking AR propaganda.

The promise of curing genetic diseases by replacing damaged genes with healthy ones is slowly becoming a reality. One recent story is the development of therapy in humans to reverse a form of childhood blindness called Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA. OregonLive reports on the story of Alexe Webb who, soon after birth, was diagnosed … Continue reading Advancing gene therapy, debunking AR propaganda.

A fish named Hope

If you have watched any British TV channels in the past week or two, you may have seen the excellent ads produced by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of a major fundraising drive to support their new Mending Broken Hearts campaign. The Mending Broken Hearts campaign is a major new multidisciplinary initiative which … Continue reading A fish named Hope

Caring for Sick Babies: Science versus Animal Rights

There can be few areas of medicine that are as emotionally and ethically fraught as the treatment of babies born with life threatening or debilitating illness. Doctors must constantly weigh up potential benefits to the baby of any procedure against risk that the procedure may harm either the baby or mother. Nevertheless, it’s an area … Continue reading Caring for Sick Babies: Science versus Animal Rights

How to Build a Beating Heart

On Friday I discussed one of the recent developments in the science of tissue engineering, the development of artificial blood vessels for transplant by Dr. Laura Niklason of Yale University.  Tonight National Geographic's Explores series is taking a more global look at how tissue engineering is delivering in the clinic and promising much for the future. You … Continue reading How to Build a Beating Heart