Second contagious form of cancer found in Tasmanian devils

Transmissible cancers are believed to arise extremely rarely in nature. One of the few known transmissible cancers causes facial tumors in Tasmanian devils, and is threatening this species with extinction. Today, scientists report the discovery of a second transmissible cancer in Tasmanian devils. The discovery calls into question our current understanding of the processes that drive cancers to become transmissible.

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Teenager infected with rat-bite fever from her pet rodent

A 17-year-old woman was infected with the rare, but treatable rat-bite fever, that developed from pet rodents that lived in her bedroom, report the doctors who treated her.

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Carnivore hunting policy and science don’t align, researchers find

An international group of biologists say that policies regulating the hunting of large carnivores do not always align with basic scientific data, which can undermine conservation efforts.

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Dogs give friends food

Compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, the human capacity for cooperation is something quite special. Cooperating with one another requires a certain amount of prosocial behavior. This means helping others without any direct personal benefit. Now a new study has found prosocial behaviour in dogs toward humans.

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New twist in tale of dogs’ origins

The origin of dogs has inspired a lingering controversy in academia. Where and when did dogs first split off from wolves? Now a top-dog researcher hopes his latest research will finally settle the matter.

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Can your pet boost your sex appeal?

Dogs and cats are increasingly seen as being a crucial member of a traditional family, but aside from the companionship and love you receive from your pet… can they also make you appear sexier?

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Precise method underlies sloppy madness of dog slurping

Using photography and laboratory simulations, researchers studied how dogs raise fluids into their mouths to drink. They discovered that sloppy-looking actions at the dog bowl are in fact high-speed, precisely timed movements that optimize a dogs’ ability to acquire fluids.

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Early childhood exposure to farm animals, pets modifies immunological responses

Exposure to farm animals in early childhood modifies the key allergy-related immunological mechanisms, shows a recent study, which provides new insight into the role of dendritic cells and cytokine production in particular.

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Using public surveillance to study insect vectors of Chagas disease in Texas

Chagas disease is caused by a parasitic protozoan (Trypanosoma cruzi) and transmitted via triatomine insects known locally in Texas as ‘kissing bugs.’ Due to the success of community based triatomine surveillance and collection in Central and South America, researchers set up a citizen science program to gain insight into the distribution and infection prevalence of triatomine insects in Texas.

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First Puppies Born by in vitro fertilization

For the first time, a litter of puppies was born by in vitro fertilization. The breakthrough opens the door for preserving endangered canid species using assisted reproduction techniques. It could also enable researchers to eradicate heritable diseases in dogs.

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