A group of researchers in Canada are working together to create a model made of human cells that they hope will eventually lead to a treatment for COVID-19, without the use of animals. The key to understanding how the virus can spread throughout the body so quickly is to examine its effects soon after infection, but before symptoms are experienced. Researchers say this would not be possible in humans since a patient might be infected for two weeks before symptoms appear. However, by creating mini models that mimic the movement of human cells in the nose, mouth, eyes, and lungs, and then exposing them to COVID-19, researchers will be able to see how the virus works, in real time, as it invades the body.
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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, China banned the transport and sale of wild animals. Reportedly, this move has stalled China’s own primate research, as well as blocked access for U.S. laboratories to obtain monkeys. According to a pro-animal research industry group, 80 percent of primates imported into the U.S. for use in research are from China. However, it is difficult to assess how this will affect primate research in the U.S. because the government operates several primate breeding centers.
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The Leaping Bunny Program, managed by AAVS, has recently posted its most up-to-date listing of cruelty-free companies, including those that have successfully completed its annual recommitment process. By requiring companies to recommit to being cruelty-free in order to keep their certification, Leaping Bunny provides the most reliable and trustworthy list of companies that don’t test on animals.
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Jane Goodall Still Inspires
© National Geographic
On Earth Day, April 22, the National Geographic Channel aired a two hour special, “Jane Goodall: The Hope,” which celebrated her extraordinary accomplishments and highlighted her unique position in animal advocacy. This New York Times interview touches on some of the same topics, as Jane shares her thoughts on animal research and chimpanzees, reminisces about how her dog Rusty taught her about animals, and what is keeping her busy during this time of social distancing. She even talks about “loo paper.”
Also, please note Jane Goodall’s ability to always find a positive during difficult times. No wonder the film about her is called “The Hope.”