Research Roundup: Implantable device a huge advance for treating severe heart failure; epidural stimulation helps paralyzed patients walk again and more!

Welcome to this week’s Research Roundup. These Friday posts aim to inform our readers about the many stories that relate to animal research each week. Do you have an animal research story we should include in next week’s Research Roundup? You can send it to us via our Facebook page or through the contact form on the website.

Image courtesy of Understanding Animal Research.
  • Gene editing to eradicate mosquito-borne diseases. Researchers have used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique to target the doublesex gene rendering mosquitos sterile; potentially heralding an era without diseases born by these insects. Edited females didn’t develop normally, could not reproduce, and did not develop the long proboscis needed to bite humans and suck blood while males developed normally further spreading the gene mutation. There is, however, still much to learn before this technique is taken mainstream — such as the development of further mutations. Published in Nature Biotechnology.
CDC Public health Image Library
  • Fighting skin cancer with chemotherapy hydrogel. Scientists have developed a new chemotherapy hydrogel that can be applied directly on melanoma tumors and used in conjunction with paclitaxel — a chemotherapy drug — to slow the cancer’s growth in mice. This treatment could reduce the troublesome and harmful side-effects of chemotherapy injections, which are often required to combat skin cancer, despite the melanoma being visible on the skin. It remains unclear if the new hydrogel will translate to humans, or if it can be used without some chemotherapy injections. However, it marks a first step in home-treatment of skin cancer. Published in ACS Nano.