Kathryn Henley is a doctoral candidate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She studies pain in animals, currently pigs, trying to understand the different and often subtle signs that animals may be in pain. In this post, she explains why her research is important – both to the development of good animal welfare and … Continue reading Found in Translation: Using a Personal Tragedy to Drive Innovative Research
Today, almost 30 years after Prof. Geoffrey Raisman first identified their potential to repair nerve damage in mice, the BBC reports that olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation has been successfully used to enable Darek Fidyka, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack in 2010, to walk again. The paper reporting the transplant, … Continue reading Paralyzed man walks again after olfactory cell transplant, thanks to animal research
In an interview with the BBC yesterday 2014 Nobel laureate John O Keefe has warned of the dangers posed by regulations that restrict animal research and the free movement of scientists across borders. "It is an incontrovertible fact that if we want to make progress in basic areas of medicine and biology we are going … Continue reading Nobel Prizewinner John O’Keefe warns of threat to science from overly restrictive animal research and immigration rules
This weeks issue of the neuroscience journal Brain carries an unusual image; against a background of nerve activity traces a man lies on the ground, and as you scan down the images he lifts his right leg off the ground. For most people this might just be a simple warm-up exercise, but for Kent Stephenson it … Continue reading Paralysis breakthrough – electrical stimulation enables four paraplegic men to voluntarily move their legs
It's January, and across the country millions of people have promised themselves that they will eat less, loose weight and become healthier. But why do some people eat more than others? No matter what they try there seems to be no way to stop their overeating. Public education is a powerful tool to combat some … Continue reading Guest Post: Characterising high fructose corn syrup self-administration in laboratory rats
Heart failure is a deadly condition that affects about two out of every hundred adults in the USA, and occurs when the heart is unable to provide sufficient pump action to maintain blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Among the more common causes are heart attacks and hypertension, but less frequently it … Continue reading Trial of gene therapy in heart failure launches following success in rats and pigs.
The BBC reported yesterday that a small trial of a stem cell therapy developed by the biotech firm Reneuron has produced promising results, with 5 of the 9 patients enrolled in the trial showing unexpected improvements. The improvements were unexpected because the trial was intended to assess the safety of the technique, and the scientists … Continue reading Animal research leads to promising results for first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for stroke
Sometimes the pace of medical progress takes even us by surprise. Last month a paper was published in the Lancet by a team of clinicians and scientists at the University of Louisville that we certainly were not expecting to see so soon, reporting that electrical stimulation of the lower spinal cord had restored voluntary movement … Continue reading Moving from rats to patients: swift progress for electrical simulation in treating paralysis