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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Macaque Studies Find Potential AIDS Preventative Treatment

Recent studies in monkeys have found that a combination of two drugs already approved for use in humans and present in pharmacies everywhere, appear to help prevent HIV transmission.

The two drugs are known as tenofovir and emtricitabine, appear to prevent transmission if taken prior to exposure. The scientists still don’t know the time frame that the drugs may need to be taken prior to exposure, or if they could be taken after exposure, but the investigation is still in early stages.

The drugs could be given to people at high risk for infection, including women in Africa, at risk of being infected by their HIV positive partners.

Six macaques were treated with the drug combination and exposed for 14 weeks to a combination of the human and monkey AIDS viruses. Not a single one contracted disease. On the other hand, all but one of the monkeys not treated, contracted AIDS.

Even after the drugs were stopped, (as well as the AIDS exposure), the monkeys have remained healthy and tested negative for AIDS. It looks like macaques may be helping scientists to find effective, preventative measures against HIV and AIDS!

posted by Kristina Cook at 8:08 PM  

Friday, April 07, 2006

Recent Breakthrough in Medicine Thanks to Animal Research!

Potential Future Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries

When spinal cord injuries occur, the nerves that are injured can cause further damage to healthy neurons due to a process called demyelination. But studies conducted by scientists on 97 rats found that transplantation of specific cells of the rats own brain soon after the injury (two weeks), led to a gain in coordination and the ability to bear weight on their hind limbs. While previous studies have shown similar results, the difference is that embryonic cells weren’t used but the animals own neural precursor cells.

The animals didn’t recover the ability to walk completely normal, but the results were very promising. They hope that this could also be done in humans one day. One current obstacle for these scientists though, is finding a way to treat those who have been paralyzed for much longer than 2 weeks. When the researchers transplanted the cells in mice with 8 week old injuries, they didn’t see the marked improvement in the mice they had seen with the transplants at 2 weeks. Looks like the researchers will have their work cut out for them, but thanks to their hard work and dedication, maybe it will lead to a treatment for paralysis one day!

The original journal article is:
J Neurosci. (March 29 2006) 26(13):3377-89 Delayed transplantation of adult neural precursor cells promotes remyelination and functional neurological recovery after spinal cord injury. Karimi-Abdolrezaee S, Eftekharpour E, Wang J, Morshead CM, Fehlings MG.

posted by Kristina Cook at 3:15 PM  

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Why Animal Research is Important AND Needed: A Copy of the Speech I Gave on the February 25th Demonstration

I’m here today to represent students and stand up for what I believe in. We are here to celebrate progress, the pursuit of knowledge and the achievements of medical research that requires animal testing. We are here to support scientists and doctors who are working to save each and every one of us from disease and suffering. We seek to inform the public and are here to encourage rational, open and peaceful debate.

Without research involving animal testing we wouldn’t have insulin to treat diabetes. We wouldn’t have antibiotics for infections, vaccines to prevent disease and surgeries to treat the injured. If this fundamental research is stopped, we won’t find a cure for cancer, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, a vaccine for AIDS, a therapy for Alzheimer’s and a cure for paralysis. ANY further advances in medicine and human health are absolutely dependent on animal research.

Right here in Oxford, countless medical advances have been made – most have required some level of animal testing. These include the discovery of penicillin, treatments for hemophilia and childhood leukemia, and the development and trials of vaccines for meningitis in children. Oxford has helped contribute to our understanding of heart disease, cancer, bird flu, infectious diseases and numerous other illnesses. And if we are able to continue our research with animals, we can help find cures for these illnesses.

Whether these diseases affect us directly or someone we love, we want to know that researchers across the world are working towards a cure. Unfortunately, there are people who want to stop medical progress and are using a variety of tactics to publicize their message from mild to extreme and life threatening. But I’m here today to show that research will not be STOPPED and that humanity will continue to look for ways to improve the quality of our lives. I, like every reasonable person, am all for the ethical treatment of animals – However I also recognize that in order to treat human suffering and advance medical science, animal testing is a necessity.

We all need to be worried for our future if we don’t stand up and support the people saving lives with their research in animals. We cannot let the advancement of knowledge be halted as it was in Cambridge. Progress and the pursuit of knowledge CANNOT be stopped and WILL NOT be stopped, and the proof of it lies in front of me. Let’s stand up for reason, let’s stand up for our rights, and let’s DEMAND that the Oxford lab be constructed without interference and intimidation.

posted by Kristina Cook at 2:37 PM  

About the author

Kristina Cook Name: Kristina Cook

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

My name is Kristina Cook and I am a first year DPhil (PhD) student in a mix of Chemistry/Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Oxford University. I am 23 years old. I just moved to Oxford from Washington DC, where I lived for two months as part of the graduate program I am in. Before this I had lived in San Diego, California for five years where I went to San Diego State University for my undergraduate education. In those five years I had the opportunity to further my science education by working for a wonderful small biotech/pharmaceutical company for three years, in the in-vitro pharmacology department. I also worked in an academic lab in synthetic chemistry, for two years. I am now out in Oxford, researching cancer angiogenesis, specifically some of the proteins involved, and looking for potential new ways of treating cancer.

This Blog

This page has been set up to promote scientific research and show support for animal research conducted ethically and intelligently. Recent news in science, discussions on science and animal research and guest writings by fellow scientists are just a few of the things you can expect to find here. Build the Oxford Lab!


Article I published on Animal Testing
Click to Give a Free Mammogram to a Woman in Need
Research Defense Society Blog
One of the Many Articles on Our February Demonstration
Coalition for Medical Progress


Exciting “new” breast-cancer drug progresses to human trials
Macaque Studies Find Potential AIDS Preventative Treatment
Recent Breakthrough in Medicine Thanks to Animal Research!
Why Animal Research is Important AND Needed: A Copy of the Speech I Gave on the February 25th Demonstration
Facts about Animal Research
The Dawn of a New Age: Standing up, Proud and Tall, For Animal Research and The Oxford Lab
Standing Up for Science


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