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Updates from the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
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September 16, 2020

News and Updates from CAAT

   Contents:
 



VIDEO: Thomas Hartung at ESOF2020: COVID-19: A Brain Disease?

Interviewed by the Financial Times Science Editor Clive Cookson, the results of Johns Hopkins University’s breakthrough research on the profound neurological impacts of COVID-19 are presented here for the first time. Thomas Hartung, JHU’s Professor and Chair for Evidence-based Toxicology, describes how lab-grown "mini-brains" (tiny tissue cultures that simulate whole organs made from human cells) can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. The virus infects neurons in the mini-brains via the ACE2 human protein that is known to be an important entry point for SARS-CoV-2. The virus then multiplies within the neurons. Within three days the number of copies increases at least a hundredfold. 

Patients exhibit symptoms ranging from inflammation, dizziness, headache and delirium to seizures, nerve damage, and stroke. Numbness, weakness, and memory problems can persist long after the virus has gone. Subtle brain damage might only become apparent in years to come. A special concern is that brain development of the embryo in pregnant patients could be affected. 

Watch Now (YouTube)

VIDEO: Demonstrating that Lab-grown "Mini-brains" can be Infected with COVID-19

Thomas Hartung describes how lab-grown "mini-brains" (tiny tissue cultures that simulate whole organs made from human cells) can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. The virus infects neurons in the mini-brains via the ACE2 human protein that is known to be an important entry point for the virus. The virus then multiplies within the neurons. Within three days, the number of copies increases at least a hundredfold. Patients exhibit symptoms ranging from inflammation, dizziness, headache and delirium to seizures, nerve damage and stroke. Numbness, weakness and memory problems can persist long after the virus has gone. Subtle brain damage might only become apparent in years to come. A special concern is that brain development of the embryo in pregnant patients could be affected.

Watch Now (YouTube)

Press Coverage of Thomas Hartung's Presentation, which was joined by 1500 live participants:

Sciences et Avenir (French)

La ricerca per il Covid-19? “È come la corsa all’oro del Klondike” (Italian)
 



Thomas Hartung to Speak on COVID-19 at EUROTOX

September 17, 2020
3-4pm CET/9-10am EST
Online

Organized by the  EUROTOX In Vitro and In Silico Toxicology (IN2TOX) Specialty Section, the virtual webinar "Role of in vitroand in silico methodologies in COVID-19 research" is scheduled September 17, 2020 from 3 to 4pm CET. The program includes two presentations and a Q&A session.

3:00-3:05 pm: Introduction by Mathieu Vinken, Chair In2TOX-EUROTOX

3:05-3:25 pm: “New approach methods as door-openers for drugs and vaccines or the other way around?” by Thomas Hartung (CAAT)

3:25-3:45 pm: "Studying the interaction between coronavirus spike protein and human target receptors using 3D in silico modelling: could anthraquinone compounds prevent the interaction?" by Luca Dellafiora, Department of Food and Drug, University of Parma-Italy

3:45-4:00 pm: Q&A lead by Mathieu Vinken, Chair In2TOX-EUROTOX

The first 100 registrants will receive a Zoom invitation Wednesday 16 September 2020 to attend the webinar.

Registration
 


EBTC Webinar: Introducing COSTER

September 17, 2020
11am US Eastern Time
Online

While growth in publication of systematic reviews in toxicology and environmental health research (EH) is exponential, their quality is very uneven. This is at least partly because current guidance on how to conduct SRs is either focused on healthcare contexts or, if specific to EH research, collectively inconsistent. In response to this situation, a cross-sector group of stakeholders has developed COSTER, intended as a reference-point for good practice in conduct of SRs of environmental health and toxicological research.

This webinar describes how COSTER was developed, gives an overview of its recommendations, and discusses how COSTER should be used. There will be an extended Q&A to answer participants' questions. 

Paul Whaley is an experienced advocate of the use of systematic methods for reviewing evidence to support the development of environmental health policy. His focus is on developing best-practice frameworks, reporting standards, and critical appraisal tools for raising the quality of published systematic reviews (SRs), and he has worked with a range of US and European regulators, industry, NGOs, and academic organizations on implementing SR methods in environmental health assessments.

Details and Registration (Zoom)
 



Free Webinar Series: Animals, Climate Change, and Global Health


Friday, September 18, 2020 • Noon - 2:30pm Eastern U.S. Time
Online

In the first session, we will explore how human use of wild and domestic animals for food, together with environmental destruction and habitat loss, leads to an increase in zoonotic diseases with high potential to turn into epi- and pandemics. We will discuss the consequences for global human and animal health and wellbeing, including: What role does industrial animal agriculture play? How can we prevent the future development of zoonoses that may turn into epi- and pandemics?

First, we will look at the history of zoonoses: What is the common thread for the development and spread of zoonotic infectious diseases? Second, we will analyze why our current interaction with other animals is detrimental for our health: Why is industrial animal agriculture a breeding ground for new zoonotic diseases? What are the eclectic consequences of eating animals? Is the better treatment of animals critical for maintaining human health and preventing future pandemics? Third, we will deliberate why our global food system must be radically transformed in order to protect both humans and non-human animals: Which steps need to be taken to achieve a speedy transition away from animal agriculture towards plant-based agriculture?

Moderator: Jan Dutkiewicz (Harvard Law School)
Speakers: Michael Greger (NutritionFacts.org), Mia MacDonald (Brighter Green), Astra Taylor (Documentary filmmaker and writer)
 
Registration and Information
 




ESTIV Travel Grants Available

The European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV) is happy to announce that it will be offering three travel grants of a maximum €500 each to three young scientists wanting to participate in the JRC Summer School 2021 on Non-animal Approaches in Science: The Three R…evolution, to be held from May 18-21, 2021 at the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) site in Ispra (Italy).

The JRC Summer School is specifically tailored for post-graduate students (e.g., master and PhD students) and early-career scientists (max. 4 years after master) working in the biosciences and will focus on non-animal methods and technologies and the opportunities and challenges associated with their application in various fields such as regulatory toxicology and biomedical research. More information on the JRC Summer School can be found here.

To apply please submit the following documents to: grants@estiv.org by 31 January 2021:
  1. A motivation letter, including the name and contact details of a professional reference (a reference letter is not requested)
  2. A short CV using the template provided (as required for applying to the JRC Summer School):
  3.  CV template JRC for Summer School 2021
  4. A poster abstract (max 250 words) using the template provided (as required for applying to the JRC Summer School):
    Abstract template for JRC summer school 2021
Selection of participants will be based on the following criteria:
  • Applicants should be members of ESTIV. The membership application can be sought before sending in an application by contacting secretariat@estiv.org and putting grants@estiv.org in Cc.
  • The relevance of the current area of study or job to in vitro/in silico toxicology
  • Clarity and relevance of the motivation letter
  • Scientific quality of the poster abstract
  • Priority will be given to applicants who did not receive a grant or award from ESTIV in the past 3 years
  • The bursary will be given only participants that plan to attend an on-site meeting
Details 
 


Best wishes from all of us,

The CAAT Team

     

hand holding centrifuge tubes

Upcoming Events
 

EBTC Webinar: Introducing COSTER
September 17, 2020
Online

EUROTOX COVID-19 Webinar
September 17, 2020
Online

Webinar Series: Animals, Climate Change, and Global Health
September 18, 2020
Online

OpenTox Virtual Conference
September 21-25

Advances in Cell & Tissue Culture
September 30-October 1, 2020
Online

Free Webinar Series on Animal-Free Antibodies
October 15, 2020
Online

Changing the World—Good Science is not Enough to Persuade
People to Replace Animal Testing

ACT2020 Roundtable
October 1, 2020
Online

Webinar Series: Animals, Climate Change, and Global Health
October 16, 2020
Online

ASCCT Annual Meeting
October 19, 2020
Online

Altertox Assessing Endocrine Disruptor Compounds with In Vitro Methods
October 22-23, 2020
Helsinki, Finland

Altertox Novel In Vitro Methods and AOP Approaches in Genetic Toxicology
November 5-6, 2020 
Leiden, The Netherlands

15th Anniversary EPAA Annual Conference
November 10, 2020
Brussels

Free Webinar Series on Animal-Free Antibodies
November 12, 2020
Online

Altertox Hands-on training In Vitro Lung Models 
November 12-13, 2020 
Geneva, Switzerland

TestSmart DNT5: Developmental Neurotoxicity
November 15-18, 2020
Konstanz, Germany

Altertox Multi-Organs-Chip (TissUse)
April 21-23, 2021
Berlin, Germany 

Altertox PBPK Modeling and Quantitative In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolations 
April 29-30, 2021
Wageningen, The Netherlands

SAVE THE DATE
Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods
May 12-14, 2021
Ontario, Canada

LIVe2021 Lung In Vitro Event
June 14-15, 2021
Nice, France

11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
August 22-26, 2021
Maastricht, The Netherlands

Free Live WC11 Webinars on 3Rs in COVID-19 Research
August 25-26, 2020
Online

EuroScience Open Forum 2020
September 2-6, 2020
Trieste, Italy/Online

EPAA 15th Anniversary Annual Conference
November 10, 2020

Altertox Skin Sensitization
May 6-7, 2021
Hamburg, Germany

Altertox training on Skin SensitiZation at WC11 (Organised on behalf of EPAA)
August 22, 2021
Maastricht, The Netherlands

SAVE THE DATE!
World Summit on Microphysiological Systems (MPS-WS-1)
December 13-16, 2021
New Orleans, LA

21st International Congress of the European Society of Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV2020)
November 21-25, 2022
Barcelona

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