Monthly Archives: May 2017

Frogs’ unique skeletons give them wide range of jumping abilities

Frogs’ skeletons give them the ability to jump and move in a wide range of angles and distances, according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology. Scientists examined the red-legged running frog with high-speed cameras, then used computer simulations to see how the skeleton contributed to the frogs’ range of motion.New Scientist (free content)/Press Association (UK) (5/18)

Environmental advocates push back when animal rights activists decry EPA policy

Proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules on how to prioritize testing of potentially toxic substances have sparked opposition from animal rights activists who warn implementation will mean more animal testing, a view that positions them in opposition to a group of consumer environmental health advocates. Andy Igrejas, director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, says animal testing is critical to keeping people safe, and EPA scientific advisory board member Holly Davies says any animal testing involved with classifying agents will be valuable.FiveThirtyEight (5/16)

We had curtailed a lot of this – sounds like a step backward. Big industry wants the animal testing since it is cheaper and easier than other methods. Doesn’t surprise EPA wants the change. It is easier for them too.

Fungal meningitis, salinity changes could explain leopard shark deaths

An estimated 1,000 leopard sharks have turned up dead on California beaches since the first part of March, and scientists are looking for the cause. Acidity changes in the seawater brought on by major rainfall this year may have made the sharks more susceptible to health threats, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife fish pathologist Mark Okihiro necropsied 26 of the dead sharks and found evidence suggesting they may be dying from a fungal meningitis.Santa Cruz Sentinel (Calif.)/Bay Area News Group

Animals big and small, feathered and furry, that carry zoonotic disease

they left out scaled (reptiles) and amphibians in their headline…

Animals from mice to parrots may harbor pathogens that can harm people, so being informed is an important tool to preventing health problems. Mice can carry hantavirus, a potentially deadly zoonotic disease that has infected four people in Washington state this year, killing one, while horses, goats, bats and other animals as well as insects including fleas and mosquitoes can also transmit disease to people or other species.SeattlePI (5/13)

Case report highlights parasitic infection associated with raw fish

I don’t eat raw fish after finding out many of my Japanese colleagues took worming medication monthly. Had a family member have a similar issue as below. Yup, nematodes. And the broad fish tapeworm. I’ll eat my fish cooked thank you!

Although mostly a problem in Japan, Western doctors are increasingly seeing parasitic infections acquired through consumption of raw fish. A paper in BMJ Case Reports describes one such case, in a 32-year-old man from Portugal who experienced stomach pain, vomiting and fever before being diagnosed with anisakiasis, a disease caused by nematodes found in raw or undercooked seafood including cod, fluke, haddock and monk fish.BBC (5/12),  CBS News (5/12)

Utility workers in Arizona rescue stranded otter pup

Salt River Project workers pulled a struggling otter pup from a canal and turned the animal over to the Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Center, where veterinarians treated it for dehydration and anemia. The otter is now a resident at Out of Africa Wildlife Park, and the Game and Fish Wildlife Center has started a program allowing people to make donations via mobile phone to help provide care to sick wildlife.KPNX-TV (Phoenix) (5/3)

Washington toddler being tested for Baylisascaris infection

The CDC is processing samples taken from a Washington state toddler who may have contracted Baylisascaris, a raccoon roundworm that migrates through the human body after ingestion and can be fatal. Raccoons tend to deposit feces, which may contain the roundworm eggs, in flat, elevated areas such as decks, roofs, woodpiles and sandboxes, so hand-washing after spending time outside is especially important to prevent infection.The Seattle Times (tiered subscription model) (5/8)

This is in the Seattle area. A good reason for always wearing protective gloves such as procedure gloves underneath gardening gloves – once soil is infected it is for years! They didn’t say that ova can enter through cuts in the skin too…