From Macaques to Humans: UK regulator gives cautious thumbs up to advanced IVF techniques to prevent mitochondrial disease

Yesterday the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) advised the government that there is no evidence the two advanced forms of IVF developed to prevent mitochondrial diseases are unsafe, recommending that research using human embryos should continue, with close monitoring of the  health of children born through these two techniques, which are known as maternal spindle transfer and pronuclear transfer. At the … Continue reading From Macaques to Humans: UK regulator gives cautious thumbs up to advanced IVF techniques to prevent mitochondrial disease

Not Difficult To Grasp

Paralysis can have tremendous negative consequences for a person's quality of life.  In the US alone, there are more than 200 thousand people living with chronic spinal cord injury, which is a cause of immense suffering to them and their families.  The disease generates economic burden for society as well.   Thus, there has been … Continue reading Not Difficult To Grasp

OHSU Rhesus macaque embryo research to improve Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis is used by parents to screen embryos produced through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to ensure that the baby will be free of specific genetic diseases.  New research from Oregon Health and Science University on the inheritance of the mitochondrial genome indicates that screening for genetic mutations that are located in the … Continue reading OHSU Rhesus macaque embryo research to improve Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Professor Doudet vindicated as investigation rejects animal rights allegations.

Two weeks ago we discussed the targeting by Canadian animal rights group Stop UBC Animal Research (STOP) of University of British Columbia scientist Professor Doris Doudet. STOP alleged that Prof. Doudet had performed experiments on monkeys without the approval of the UBC Animal Care Committee, and then lied in a scientific paper to cover her … Continue reading Professor Doudet vindicated as investigation rejects animal rights allegations.

Merry Christmas for Patients with Hemophilia B

That was the headline of an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) which discussed the very promising results of a small clinical trial of gene therapy to treat hemophilia B – also known as Christmas Disease*. Patients with haemophilia B suffer bleeding in the joints and muscles due to deficiency in a … Continue reading Merry Christmas for Patients with Hemophilia B

Mice and macaques pave the way for effective HIV vaccines

There is encouraging news this week on the prospects for an effective vaccine against HIV. A  research team led by Professor Mariano Esteban at the Spanish Superior Scientific Research Council (CSIC) have announced that the vaccine MVA-B elicited a persistent immune response against HIV in  85% of volunteers in a phase 1 clinical trial. MVA-B … Continue reading Mice and macaques pave the way for effective HIV vaccines

Albert Sabin and the monkeys who gave summer back to the children.

Albert Sabin has been called “the doctor who gave summer back to the children.”* Because of his decades of research to develop the oral polio vaccine, children today know nothing of the fear that polio brought to the United States every summer well into the 20th century.  Swimming pools and movie theaters were closed and … Continue reading Albert Sabin and the monkeys who gave summer back to the children.