It’s been 37 years since Texas A&M University’s Joe Kornegay started breeding dogs to have a canine form of muscular dystrophy (MD) and then using them in painful and invasive experiments. Yet this abusive enterprise has failed to produce a cure or even a treatment to reverse the symptoms of MD in humans.
Each year, more dogs are born into imprisonment in this laboratory and condemned to a life of being tormented in cruel experiments and struggling to walk, eat, and even breathe. One wonders: Is Kornegay proud of the progress that he’s made—which is none?
Meanwhile, progressive researchers are using cutting-edge, human-relevant research methods that hold promise for actually helping human MD patients.
Growing Artificial Mini-Muscles
Using skin cells, researchers at University College London have grown 3-D skeletal muscles from the stem cells of patients who have various types of MD. These patient-specific mini-muscles accurately model human MD and pave the way for personized medicine in which different types of therapies can be tested on cells derived from individual MD patients.
Engineering Human Heart Cells
At the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, researchers have used cutting-edge technology to address the severe cardiac issues that affect many who have MD. Using stem cells from MD patients, scientists engineered 3-dimensional human heart muscle cells and used the gene-cutting method known as CRISPR to correct a genetic mutation that’s found in up to 60 percent of patients. Even when only 30 to 50 percent of the heart cells were corrected in this way, their ability to contract became nearly normal.
Harnessing the Power of Data
Mathematicians at the University of Georgia have reviewed mathematical models of MD that can be used to study the progression of the disease.
Scientists around the world are working together to contribute to human-relevant MD research. Chinese, Japanese, and Israeli researchers are creating human cell lines containing various MD mutations for other scientists to use in developing treatments for patients with those mutations.
By conducting human-relevant research, scientists around the globe are offering MD patients real hope that effective treatments and cures for the disease will be found. But Texas A&M continues to waste time, money, and dogs’ lives. Tell the school that MD patients and suffering dogs have waited long enough for this to end.