Obesity is one of the most serious health issues in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 72% of U.S. adults are overweight, more than 42% are obese, and more than 9% are severely obese. Not only does obesity increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, it also costs hundreds of billions of dollars a year. Dieting and exercise alone are rarely effective for significant and permanent weight loss, so scientists working with mice are looking for other solutions.
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Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the brain and central nervous system that can cause tremors, stiffness, movement and balance issues, and cognitive impairment. Almost one million people in the U.S. are currently living with Parkinson's disease, about 50 percent more men than women.
Many of the conditions and functions studied by animal researchers are too specific or esoteric to be easily understood by the general public, but there’s one area of study everyone can relate to: pain.
We now have several very effective COVID-19 vaccines, but that doesn’t mean the research into preventing and treating the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has slowed down. Researchers continue to find new and innovative ways to treat COVID-19 and its symptoms, from the use of an over-the-counter dietary supplement to a wide range of new vaccine candidates.
Diversity is a hot-button issue these days, with organizations from police forces to major corporations taking steps to address the lack of racial, cultural, socioeconomic, and gender diversity in their ranks. Biomedical research is no exception.
We know sleep is important: it helps us rest and recharge, and not getting enough can cause all kinds of problems, from depression and difficulty concentrating to an increased risk of chronic disease. Recent research with mice has shed some light on the importance of lights-out.
These days we’re all very familiar with stress, but while we may know how it feels, we’re less sure what exactly causes it and the full range of effects it can have on the body and brain. Now, new research with mice sheds some light on the connections between stress, sleep, depression, immunity, and more.
When we think of vaccines, we think of a shot given to a healthy subject to prevent them from becoming infected with the disease the vaccine targets. This type of preventive vaccine has worked well for many diseases, and there are now more than 20 vaccines commonly used in the United States for diseases including polio, rabies, tetanus, measles, and now, COVID-19.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that is certainly turning out to be the case for two COVID-19 vaccines that have sped from research through animal testing to widespread clinical testing in record time—just one year after the SARS-CoV-2 virus was first detected in China and less than 11 months after Chinese authorities shared the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus with the world.
Animal research has played a critical role in some of the most important scientific discoveries in history, including identifying the causes and mechanics of diseases, developing vaccines, and understanding how the human body functions.