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Permalink 01:04:10 pm, by iain Email , 111 words, 2242 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Animal research offers hope of universal flu vaccine as HLS gets stock market listing

Early days yet, but Acambis are about to start clinical trials of a vaccine against all strains of influenza A. So far in animal models the vaccine has been shown to offer protection from "bird flu" and other strains of influenza - it will be interesting to see if it passes clinical trials.

And in other news this week, Huntingdon Life Sciences are back on the stockmarket. The parent company of HLS, Life Sciences Research Inc, is now trading under ticker NYSE ARCA: LSR. The claims of animal rights extremists that they would "shut down Huntingdon within 2 years" begin to look more and more ridiculous, especially since they've been saying that since 1999.


Permalink 08:30:14 am, by iain Email , 125 words, 1946 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Alcohol helps prevent brain damage

As it's the festive season - I thought I'd share this little gem with you.

Researchers at the University of Toronto have looked at hospital data and come to the conclusion that, as animal research suggests, small amounts of alcohol help prevent brain damage and death in humans with head trauma. It will ce interesting to see if ethanol drips start getting used in A&E departments. The BBC also makes the helpful observation that, whilst having had a few glasses may help if you get a blow to the head in a car crash, on the whole driving sober is probably still safer on balance, as it helps avoid crashes in the first place. Well quite.


Permalink 05:34:45 pm, by Tom, 219 words, 2937 views   English (UK)
Categories: Information

Alzheimer’s disease found in cats

A study carried out by scientists working at the University of Edinburgh's Royal School of Veterinary Studies and published in the Journal of Feline Medicine have discovered that previously known dementia in cats is actually a feline form of Alzheimer’s, the mental aging process that affects an estimated 24 million people worldwide.

This study found a protein critical for the development of mental deterioration that is very similar to the one found in humans, enabling the link to be discovered. Obviously, this discovery will have consequences for further research as cats that have the disease can be studied to work out the causes and treatment of human Alzheimer’s. Cats are ideal for this as “the shorter life span of a cat, compared to humans, allows researchers to more rapidly assess the effects of diet, high blood pressure, and prescribed drugs on the course of the disease”, according to the study.

This news should not only benefit humans but cats as well because, like humans, domesticated cats that live to an old age are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and so testing on cats will not only benefit patients but their pets as well. It is already known that good diet, mental stimulation and companionship can reduce the risk of dementia in both humans and cats.

Robin Burkill


Permalink 02:37:24 pm, by iain Email , 86 words, 3816 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Report backing primate research gets global media coverage

The Weatherall Report into Primate Research received huge amounts of press coverage yesterday.

The Guardian's Q&A on primate research

Another Guardian piece on the role primate research plays in developing vaccines.

The Times, reporting that primate research is "morally required".

And, crucially, The Malaysian Star

In other news, SPEAK have managed to make April Fools of themselves in December, as they believed an April 1st joke between Pro-Test members to be the work of solicitors. Maybe SPEAK have interns writing their website over Christmas.


Permalink 03:23:36 pm, by iain Email , 35 words, 2928 views   English (UK)
Categories: Information

Interesting article...

Professor Michael Reiss argues that there should be more transparency surrounding animal research, and that there should be retrospective cost-benefit examination of procedures. Couldn't agree more.

Permalink 10:45:33 am, by iain Email , 104 words, 5132 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Report backs primate research as another anti-viv faces prison

The Weatherall Committee's report on primate research comes out today at 11:30am, and is widely expected to support primate research. Pro-Test will be talking about it on 5 live today between 1 and 2pm. Given that primate research has made a huge contribution towards Parkinson's reseach, as well as the Hepatitis B vaccine, it's not hard to reach the conclusion it's necessary.

In other news this week, some people just never learn. Mel Broughton is facing prison (SPEAK's words) for contempt of court. The hearing is at the High Court on the 19th of December. Mel last went to prison in 1997 for conspiracy to commit arson.


Permalink 05:29:55 pm, by iain Email , 226 words, 2006 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Off to jail with Donald Currie...

In another triumph for the thin blue line, it's off to prison for 12 years for Donald Currie, due to his rather anti-social tendancies towards arson and the possession of fire bombs.

The curious amongst you can watch how Channel 4 and Pro-Test reacted to Currie's guilty plea back in August here

The occassionally humorous, if tragically misguided, anti-viv Beast had the following to say about the ALF here, in heady days of the first Pro-Test march.

"There’s definitely an object lesson here about how stupid and self-defeating using violence to try to make your point is...the cretins from the ALF set back the very notion of animal rights by decades at a swoop each time they do anything at all. What fuck*ng morons."

Well quite. There are ways of campaigning and ways of campaigning. Bombs = bad, legal campaigning = good. Fortunately for pretty much everyone (researchers, patients, anti-research individuals who don't foam at the mouth), there's been a huge decline in the number of attacks over the last few years. Hopefully by the time Currie gets to appreciate the taste of non-prison food again this trend will have reached its conclusion and the threat of illegal activity simply won't be seen as a viable option. We shall see.

Permalink 12:59:12 pm, by iain Email , 410 words, 1988 views   English (UK)
Categories: News

Anti-vivisectionists finally put their (deposit) money where their mouth is...

Last week saw the launch of Animals Count - a new political party which is opposed to, well, pretty much everything to do with animals. We did a few radio interviews on this (Five Live and World Service), including an amusing one where Carla Lane was left slightly confused as to what she thought when it was politely pointed out to her that animal research was helpful for developing vetinary drugs as well. She couldn't quite work out whether this meant that she liked animal research or not. It will be interesting to see Animals Count do, although I'm relatively sure it's time to kiss the deposit money goodbye. They've failed to consider one simple fact, those who vote on the issue of animals already vote Green. All this will do is split the vote. A smart move, clearly.

Sadly no one from Pro-Test was there for the launch of this future political giant (Ed: Surely midget?), but the ever reliable BBC News website lets us imagine what it was like....

>And, while fair-goers were greeted with a panoply of brightly-coloured >stalls bearing photographs of caged animals, foxes being hunted and literary >tomes denouncing vivisection, the sound of people passionately discussing >these issues provided a constant backdrop.

>"Vivisectionists are the antithesis of the moral vegan. They're sadists, not >scientists," proclaimed one stall-holder, clad in a 'Vegan Power' T-shirt, to >an audience who nodded sagely in agreement.

Oh dear. Still, each to their own. I'm sure they'll have lots of fun canvassing, they'll be the only party trying desperately not to talk about the NHS. I hear that the Welsh Assembly is to be their first target - do let us know if they come a knocking on your door.

Even more amusing was the launch of SPEAK political, to an almost total absence of any media interest. Clearly with his trial approaching in January, Mel Broughton feels it's time to try and get a bit of respectability by launching a political party. Is it just a coincidence that this was two days before Animals Count was launched? Or is Mel trying to steal the limelight? Some room for improvement regarding solidarity I feel. Apparently they'll be contesting Evan Harris's Oxford West and Abingdon seat, amongst others. I understand Evan is absolutely delighted, as the council elections last year showed that being openly pro animal research is a great vote winner, anything that boosts the issue up the agenda can only help him...

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