ABC News 20 September 2013
Researchers have found immune cells which protect the body from disease could also increase the risk of breast cancer.
Laboratory studies on mice, at the University of Adelaide, have found immune cells in the breasts, known as macrophages, change in function during the menstrual cycle.
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The Conversation 18 September 2013
Our series, Animals in Research, profiles the top organisms used for science experimentation. In this instalment, we look at the original lab rats: Rattus norvegicus.
Rats have a long history in medical research: they were the first mammalian species specifically domesticated to be used in the laboratory.
ABC News Merkes and Buttrose Aug 1, 2013
The NHMRC has released a new edition of their code on the welfare of animals used in scientific research. But there are few significant changes, and without any avenues for true accountability, the code works more for the benefit of research than the animals it is meant to protect, writes Monika Merkes and Rob Buttrose.
A new edition of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes was released on July 23, 2013 by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), updating the previous 2004 version.
Link to new ed. NHMRC code
The Conversation Gavan McNally 9 July 2013
Research involving non-human animals remains poorly understood and highly emotive.
Studies in non-human animals have led to countless treatments. Some examples include penicillin vaccinations, medications for high blood pressure, neuroprotective agents, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, antidepressants, analgesics, cardiac defibrillators, and pacemakers. These alleviate pain and suffering. They extend lifespans.
Along the way to these successes were numerous discoveries in basic science. The knowledge from basic research was central to advancement but appeared to add little to solving the pressing medical problems of the day. There were many blind alleys and apparent failure.
The Conversation Micahel Dobbie, Ruth Arkell, Stuart Read 27 May 2013
Our series, Animals in Research, profiles the top organisms used for science experimentation. Here, we look at a species familiar to most: Mus musculus, or the mouse.
Sydney Morning Herald Bridie Smith 28 May 2013
When Bill and Melinda Gates put out the call for a suitable animal to test drugs for the debilitating river blindness disease, geneticist Warwick Grant knew he had just the thing. Enter the Australian bush rat. Common in heathland areas of Victoria and NSW, the bush rat carries a parasite long overlooked by scientists.
The Conversation Hannah Nicholas 20 May 2013
One species of worm – Caenorhabditis elegans – has contributed more to medical science in the past few decades than you might think possible. More commonly referred to simply as “the worm”, C elegans is now the subject of research in hundreds of laboratories around the globe, including, at my count, at least ten labs in Australia.