Animal Care Quality Assurance

In the News

Aug. 28, 2017

USDA Grants MU $460,000 to Develop Immunizations for Tick-Borne Disease

New study targets bovine anaplasmosis, a major disease in cattle

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  Anaplasmosis is an infectious blood disease in cattle caused by certain bacteria transmitted by ticks worldwide. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded $460,000 to Bill Stich, professor of parasitology in the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, to study a new approach to interfering with this pathogen in the tick vector. Building on existing research, he and his team are working to develop immunizations with extracts from tick tissues to fight the disease. Read More

 

Aug. 22, 2017

MU Study Finds that Gravity, ‘Mechanical Loading’ are Key to Cartilage Development

Findings could be key to regenerating cartilage and bone in space as well as in patients on bed rest or who are paralyzed due to trauma

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  Mechanical loading, or forces that stimulate cellular growth for development, is required for creating cartilage that is then turned to bone; however, little is known about cartilage development in the absence of gravity or mechanical loads. Now, in a study led by the University of Missouri, bioengineers have determined that microgravity may inhibit cartilage formation. Findings reveal that fracture healing for astronauts in space, as well as patients on bed rest here on Earth, could be compromised in the absence of mechanical loading. Read More

 

Aug. 9, 2017

Understanding Salamander Breeding Patterns May Lead to Better Forest Management, Conservation Strategies

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  With changing environments, pond-breeding salamanders face increasingly hazardous treks as the space between breeding ponds and their non-breeding habitat widens or is degraded. A study from the University of Missouri suggests that a salamander’s success may depend more on when it breeds than on the landscape obstacles it might face. Scientists believe that knowing the patterns in which salamanders move back and forth could lead to better forest management and conservation strategies. Read More

 

July 18, 2017

Piglets Might Unlock Keys to In Vitro Fertilization in Humans

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  It is estimated that parents seeking to have children through in vitro fertilization (IVF) spend between $12,000 and $15,000 each session plus the cost of medications, which could average between $3,000 and $5,000. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science have made a discovery that could decrease the costs associated with IVF in humans—and it all started with piglets. Read More

 

July 12, 2017

Fighting Cancer: Natural and Synthetic Progestin Therapies in Post-Menopausal Women Help Breast Cancer Grow and Spread

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  Hormone replacement therapies, or medications containing female hormones that substitute those no longer produced by the body, often are prescribed to reduce the effects of menopausal symptoms in women. Research has indicated that women who take hormone replacement therapies have a higher incidence of breast cancer. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have linked natural and synthetic progestins to the body's production of specialized cancer cells that act like stem cells in humans. Findings could help scientists target these rare cells that proliferate in breast cancers and metastasize elsewhere, and may help clinicians identify immunotherapies to combat the spread of the disease. Read More

 

June 15, 2017

Mizzou Announces New Animal Research Adoption Partnership

Homes for Animal Heroes partnership to augment robust adoption program at MU

COLUMBIA, Mo. —  The University of Missouri has a robust adoption program for animals involved in research; since 2007, 394 dogs and 294 cats have been adopted at Mizzou. Recently, the Office of Research announced that in an effort to expand its adoption program, it has partnered with Homes for Animal Heroes (HAH), a national program dedicated to placing retired research animals in loving homes. Read More

 

May 17, 2017

Exposure to BPA Potentially Induces Permanent Reprogramming of Painted Turtles’ Brains

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as food storage containers, water bottles and certain resins. In previous studies, Cheryl Rosenfeld, an investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center, along with other researchers at the University of Missouri, Westminster College and the Saint Louis Zoo, determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function and behavior in painted turtles. Now, the team has identified the genetic pathways that are altered as a result of BPA exposure during early development. Read More

 

May 10, 2017

Rare Feline Genetic Disorders Identified Through Whole Genome Sequencing at MU

Findings could help feline preservationists implement breeding strategies for rare species

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Whole genome sequencing (WGS), which is the process of determining an organism’s complete DNA sequence, can be used to identify DNA anomalies that cause disease. Identifying disease-causing DNA abnormalities allows clinicians to better predict an effective course of treatment for the patient. Now, in a series of recent studies, scientists at the University of Missouri are using whole genome sequencing through the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Consortium to identify genetic variants that cause rare diseases, such as progressive retinal atrophy and Niemann-Pick type 1, a fatal disorder in domestic cats. Findings from the study could help feline preservationists implement breeding strategies in captivity for rare and endangered species such as the African black-footed cat.  Read More

 

May 3, 2017

Biomarker Test for Lou Gehrig's Disease Useful in Diagnosing Canine Neurodegenerative Disease

Mizzou researchers seek clinical trial participants for further treatment study

COLUMBIA, Mo. — In 2009, Joan Coates, a veterinary neurologist, along with other researchers at the University of Missouriand the Broad Institute at MIT/Harvard, found a genetic link between degenerative myelopathy (DM) in dogs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease in people. Now, researchers have found that a biomarker test that helps diagnose ALS also can assist with determining a diagnosis for degenerative myelopathy. Coates and her research team are seeking clinical trial participants to evaluate a treatment for canine DM. Read More

 

April 17, 2017

Promising New Drug Development Could Help Treat Cachexia

Researchers seeking canine candidates for a pilot study testing drugs to treat the wasting disease often associated with cancer

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to the National Cancer Institute, nearly one-third of cancer deaths can be attributed to a wasting syndrome known as cachexia. Cachexia, an indicator of the advanced stages of disease, is a debilitating disorder that causes loss of appetite, lean body mass and can lead to multi-organ failure. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri in partnership with Tensive Controls, Inc. have developed a drug that could reverse cachexia. The team currently is seeking canine candidates for a pilot study to test the new drug. Read More

 

April 5, 2017

Biomarker Could Lead to Personalized Therapies for Prostate Cancer

COLUMBIA, Mo. — In 2016, more than 181,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is one of the earliest ways clinicians can detect prostate cancers in their patients. Sometimes, a high PSA level may be a sign of benign conditions such as inflammation; therefore, more reliable tests are under investigation to help urologists diagnose and treat the disease in an aging population. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have explored how a specific protein’s status may allow clinicians to better identify prostate cancer progression while helping them to make rational decisions in treating the disease. Read More

 

April, 2017

Bacteria to the Future

A research team at the MU-affiliated Cancer Research Center is turning heads with an untraditional approach to fighting cancer. Read More

 

March 9, 2017

Zika in Pregnant Women: Researchers Determine Susceptibility, Possible Infection Mechanisms

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Infection of pregnant women by the Asian strain of Zika virus has been linked to brain abnormalities such as microcephaly in their infants; however, it is not known at what stage of pregnancy the human fetus is most susceptible to the disease. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that the human fetus may be most vulnerable to Zika infection very early in pregnancy and that the lesser-known African strain of Zika might possibly cause nearly immediate death of the placenta. Clues unlocked in this research could lead to the development of stronger defenses in the global fight against Zika. Read More

 

Feb. 06, 2017

Uterine Glands Vital for Embryo Growth, Successful Pregnancies

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The majority of pregnancy losses occur during the first trimester, when biological communication between the embryo and mother is critical for the establishment of the pregnancy. Scientists and doctors have known for several years that glands within the uterus produce Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF), which is vital for embryo implantation and successful pregnancies. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that uterine glands have additional roles in promoting pregnancy beyond LIF. Tom Spencer, a professor of reproductive and developmental biology at MU, says this discovery is important for scientists and doctors to better understand how pregnancies develop and to prevent pregnancy loss and complications such as miscarriage and preeclampsia. Read More

 

Jan. 20, 2017

Natural Compound Found in Herbs, Vegetables Could Improve Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Women

COLUMBIA, Mo. — More than 100 women die from breast cancer every day in the United States. Triple-negative breast cancers, which comprise 15 to 20 percent of all breast tumors, are a particularly deadly type of breast disease that often metastasize to distant sites. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that luteolin, a natural compound found in herbs such as thyme and parsley, and vegetables such as celery and broccoli, could reduce the risk of developing metastasis originating from triple-negative breast cancer in women. Read More

 

Jan. 11, 2017

MU biology professor receives highest honor from the White House

Dawn Cornelison, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, has been named as a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Read More

 

Dec. 19, 2016

Bisphenol A in Canned Dog Food May Increase BPA Concentrations in Pets

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used industrial chemical found in many household items, including resins used to line metal storage containers, such as food cans. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that short-term feeding of canned dog food resulted in a significant increase of BPA in dogs. Scientists believe that because of shared environments, dog exposure to BPA through canned foods could have human health implications. Read More

 

Nov. 21, 2016

Common Probiotics Can Reduce Stress Levels, Lessen Anxiety

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Probiotics, or beneficial live bacteria that are introduced into the body, have become increasingly popular as a way to improve health and well-being. Previous studies have shown a direct correlation between gut microbes and the central nervous system. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, using a zebrafish model, determined that a common probiotic sold in supplements and yogurt can decrease stress-related behavior and anxiety. Read More

 

Oct. 26, 2016

50-Year-Old Bacteria Could Be Alternative Treatment Option for Cancer

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48 million Americans contract foodborne diseases annually, with Salmonella being the leading cause of illness. Salmonella has a unique characteristic that allows the bacteria to penetrate through cell barriers and replicate inside its host. Now, scientists at the Cancer Research Center and the University of Missouri have developed a non-toxic strain of Salmonella to penetrate and target cancer cells. Results from this study could lead to promising new treatments that actively target and control the spread of cancer. Read More

 

Oct. 17, 2016

Minimal Exercise Can Prevent Disease, Weight Gain in Menopausal Women

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Past research has indicated that metabolic function is critical for women to prevent cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes after they reach menopause. Now, according to new research from the University of Missouri, minimal exercise may be all it takes for postmenopausal women to better regulate insulin, maintain metabolic function and help prevent significant weight gain. These findings suggest that women can take a proactive approach and may not need to increase their physical activity dramatically to see significant benefits from exercise. Read More

 

Oct. 10, 2016

Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Disrupted by Botanical Supplement, Can Lead to Development of Disease

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Botanical supplements are used by people around the world to treat a wide range of physical and mental ailments. Some of these botanical supplements have high levels of antioxidants, which may have some positive health effects for certain conditions. However, a new study from the University of Missouri in partnership with scientists in Africa has uncovered evidence that these supplements and their antioxidants may reduce the effectiveness of prescription medications. The researchers examined the effects of a widely used African botanical supplement, called Sutherlandia, and found that it may disrupt the effectiveness of a common anti-tuberculosis drug. This could lead to the development of active tuberculosis and perhaps drug resistant forms of the pathogen in some patients. Read More

 

Aug. 25, 2016

Exposure to Chemicals Released During Fracking May Harm Fertility

COLUMBIA, Mo. — More than 15 million Americans live within a one-mile radius of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations. UOGs combine directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” to release natural gas from underground rock. Scientific studies, while ongoing, are still inconclusive on the potential long-term effects fracturing has on human development. Today, researchers at the University of Missouri released a study that is the first of its kind to link exposure to chemicals released during hydraulic fracturing to adverse reproductive and developmental outcomes in mice. Scientists believe that exposure to these chemicals also could pose a threat to human development. Read More

 

Aug. 23, 2016

BPA Can Disrupt Painted Turtles’ Brain Development Could be a Population Health Concern

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in many consumer products including water bottles, metal food storage products and certain resins. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for BPA, affecting turtle habitats. Last year, a team of researchers led by the University of Missouri determined that BPA can disrupt sexual function in painted turtles, causing males to develop female sex organs. Now, the team has shown that BPA also can induce behavioral changes in turtles, reprogramming male turtle brains to show behavior common in females. Researchers worry this could lead to population declines in painted turtles. Read More

 

July 28, 2016

Deactivation of Brain Receptors in Postmenopausal Women May Lead to Lack of Physical Activity

COLUMBIA, Mo. — As women enter menopause, their levels of physical activity decrease; for years scientists were unable to determine why. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri have found a connection between lack of ovarian hormones and changes in the brain’s pleasure center, a hotspot in the brain that processes and reinforces messages related to reward, pleasure, activity and motivation for physical exercise. Findings suggest that activation of brain receptors in that part of the brain may serve as a future treatment to improve motivation for physical activity in postmenopausal women. Read More

 

July 25, 2016

Promising New Drug Could Help Treat Spinal Muscular Atrophy

COLUMBIA, Mo. — According to studies, approximately one out of every 40 individuals in the United States is a carrier of the gene responsible for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neurodegenerative disease that causes muscles to weaken over time. Researchers at the University of Missouri developed a new molecule in April 2014 that was found to be highly effective in animal models exhibiting SMA. Now, testing of that compound is leading to a better prognosis for mice with the disease and the possibility of potential drugs that will improve outcomes for patients with SMA. Read More

 

June 15, 2016

Researchers Find Potential Key to Preventing Heart Attacks, Strokes in Older Adults

Finding helps explain why older individuals are at greater risks for heart disease.  Read More

 

October 22, 2015

Gene Therapy Treats All Muscles in the Body in Muscular Dystrophy Dogs

Muscular dystrophy, which affects approximately 250,000 people in the U.S., occurs when damaged muscle tissue is replaced with fibrous, fatty or bony tissue and loses function. For years, scientists have searched for a way to successfully treat the most common form of the disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), which primarily affects boys. Now, a team of University of Missouri researchers have successfully treated dogs with DMD and say that human clinical trials are being planned in the next few years. Read More