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Thursday, March 31, 2016


Researchers at a wildlife conservation preserve in Nepal's Chitwan National Park, have announced the first confirmed case of tuberculosis (TB) in a young female Asian One-horned rhino. This discovery is the first infectious disease discovered in the rhino population and a crucial step in the fight for rhino conservation. The discovery has been published in a paper in Emerging Infectious Disease and is the result of research that began in 2012. The research called on experts and organizations that included the Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife (VIEW), the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC). Although poaching has been eliminated altogether since 2013, Chitwan National Park still saw 31 rhino deaths due to unknown circumstances over the past five years. Until recently, the inability to pinpoint the cause of these deaths was due to a lack of having proper systems in place to investigate the culprit. Researchers discovered that the organism responsible for causing TB in the rhino is part of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis Complex (MTBC) group. It is a close relative of organisms that cause TB in humans and cattle. They also noted that in 2014, the World Health Organization reported 9.6 million new TB cases each year in the world’s human population. Deborah McCauley, founder and executive director of VIEW, told FoxNews.coml that the discovery of TB in rhinos will fuel debate about how to best serve the human and animal populations that could potentially be affected. In the case of the rhinos, poaching and habitat encroachment are often at the top of the intervention lists, but disease, the third issue, has the potential to be the greatest threat, she said. "We have suspected for several years now that disease was the missing piece to the conservation puzzle,” explained McCauley, via email. “Now that we have firm evidence of TB, we can help the parks to understand the risk of TB and other diseases threatening precious, endangered species in order to help prevent further spread." Culled from Foxnews


Discussion @ the International production and processing expo at Atlanta,Jan 17/2016. There’s no one, perfect solution for antibiotic-free poultry production, according to veterinarians at leading companies in the industry. Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, vice president of food safety and quality at Perdue Farms, and Dr. Jeff Courtney, director of veterinarian services at Pilgrim's Pride, and Dr. Brian Wooming, senior staff veterinarian at Cargill Turkey Products, shared their views on antibiotic-free production (ABF) issues ranging from training growers on antibiotic-free practices to using curative antibiotics in an ABF environment. They offered these advice at a workshop on judicious use of antibiotics ; read more @


Taste and health concerns has made clamor for antibiotic free production in the poultry sector a global issue,hence various methods and strategies have been employed to faze out antibiotic use.The following steps are some of the measures; Diets to promote growth and positive microflora. What a bird eats plays a large role in the success of an antibiotic-free (ABF) operation. To combat negative microflora in digestive tracts, growers need to pick feed and additives that promote the right kind of gut environment. They also need a diet that can replicate the effects of antibiotic growth promoters. A strictly vegetarian diet when switching to ABF is recommended. Growers should try and get as close to all-vegetarian diets as possible and find out the animal by-product content of the product. looking for feed with more high-quality fats and less indigestible protein is essential for antibiotic free production. Reducing the presence of bacteria in feed and water is essential as well. The issues with bacteria can be solved through good feed mill management and ensuring the feed is heated to at least 185 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria. Keeping a clean water supply prevents the spread of disease and is essential because birds drink twice as much as they eat. Antibiotic alternatives There’s a variety of feed additives being marketed as alternatives for growth-promoting antibiotics such as organic acids, phytogenics, probiotics, prebiotics and short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids. These products look at one major goal: establishing a healthy gut microflora and preventing the growth of harmful microbes. Using a combination of probiotics and prebiotics has shown promises in doing exactly that, but they are not a silver bullet. The use of a combination of probiotics, prebiotics and other feed additives will help promote a healthy gut in broiler flocks. The importance of starting a feeding program that will promote healthy gut in chicks and pullets as soon as possible cannot be overemphasized. Getting the right microbes in place early can prevent unwanted bacteria and other microbes taking up residence inside the gut.


Pressure from consumers, along with regulatory changes, is rapidly pushing integrators and growers to reduce or totally remove antibiotics from broiler production. The removal of antibiotics from the equation requires growers to keep a cleaner, more bio secure operation as well as promote positive gut microflora. Going antibiotic free means growers need to be more mindful of the cleanliness of their operation and more cognizant of how feed and feed additives can promote the overall health of their birds.This was expressed by Dr. Mahmoud Masa’deh, a poultry technical sales specialist and nutritionist with Purina Animal Nutrition L.L.C., during his presentation at the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Masa’deh spoke as part of the March 16 Broiler Production workshop. Masa’deh said pressure from consumers, along with regulatory changes, is rapidly pushing integrators and growers to reduce or totally remove antibiotics from broiler production. This change forces growers to be more careful about bio security and farm sanitation; litter management and downtime between flocks; the composition of feed; and which probiotics and other additives are included in feed. The steps to antibiotic free production are outlined as follows: 1) Bio security and strict farm sanitation practices Generally, raising birds without antibiotics requires a back-to-basics approach. Masa’deh said removing disease-preventing and growth-promoting antibiotics requires farmers to reduce the opportunities for birds to get infected at any stage of their life. This means paying close attention to the cleanliness of everything from the breeders to the hatchery to the feed mill to the barn itself. Masa’deh said managing dust -- which can carry dangerous bacteria and mold around barns through the air -- in all stages of production is key. He said special consideration must be paid to dust and the overall cleanliness of the hatchery and pullet housing because exposure to negative microbes early in the lives of the birds can set a flock up for failure. If chicks are vaccinated, it’s important to make sure they receive optimal light to improve their vaccine uptake. There must be a bio security protocol in place and keeping an eye on potential disease vectors can be the difference between success and failure. 2) Litter management and downtime Another key factor in keeping a sanitary operation is the maintenance of litter in the farm and enough interval in between flocks. He recommended establishing a strict downtime program with growers, requiring them to remove the birds and the litter and take at least 14 days before putting new birds in. This must be done to ensure the products applied to combat harmful microbes have enough time to work. When birds are in the house, increasing the stocking density by at least 0.05 square feet of space per bird compared with a regular growing program is essential. He said this leads to better growth because there is less moisture in the litter and less disease shedding. Studies have shown more space per bird can lead to improved body weight, feed conversion, mortality and breast meat yield. Effective management of built-up litter can benefit the birds as well, the litter is essentially a community of microbes which can actually benefit the health of the flock. Maintaining a proper pH can prevent Clostridium, Escherichia coli and other dangerous microbes from growing in the litter. If there is too much moisture in the litter, it can lead parasitic diseases, leg disorders and breast blisters. Excess ammonia from urine can lead to blindness, respiratory disease, reduced feed conversion, foot pad injuries and impairment of a bird’s immune response to disease. Choosing the correct type of drinking system and ensuring proper airflow can help solve these issues. source; wattagnet


Water is very essential in the poultry value chain,as its the major medium used for feeding, vaccination and cleaning. Water has also been noted as a source of infection and disease transmission,hence water safety must be part of bio security protocol for poultry health. Broiler growers move further away from using antibiotics, the importance of keeping a clean water system will continue to increase; Dr. Susan Watkins, a professor and extension specialist at the University of Arkansas, said keeping a clean water supply is a major contributor to having a healthy, successful flock. Watkins, who has been studying and speaking on the importance of clean water for years, explained how growers can keep their water supply clean at the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, on March 16. Watkins said the keys to keeping a clean water supply are: 1)knowing the water supply’s challenges and addressing them properly, an inadequate cleaning is a waste of time and effort 2) Using downtime effectively and using that time to clean water systems 3) Using a daily water sanitizer best suited for the operation that is compatible with water, easy to use, ease to monitor and cost effective for the farm. 4) Establishing a program to monitor and verify water quality. Watkins offered up a few promising methods and new products as well as tips on how best to use them to help farmers decide which water cleaning program is best for their farm: A) Chlorine for water sanitation Watkins said chlorine is a good daily water sanitizer, but it is not perfect. The halogen is available in a variety of forms and is an effective water sanitizer, however its effectiveness is affected by numerous factors such as the pH level of the water, the temperature of the water, the cleanliness of the water, the amount of time the chlorine is present in the water, and the age and storage condition of the chlorine product. While it’s an effective antimicrobial, it does not remove all harmful microbes in the water supply. She said chlorine solutions work best in pH 4 to 7. The acidic form of chlorine, which exists in lower pH water, is a better sanitizer overall. As chlorine reacts with organic compounds in the water system, it can give off strong odors of chlorine. Watkins said the smell goes away as the chlorine sanitizes the water. Chlorine is not the best choice for areas where chloride levels are already high. B) Alternatives to chlorine Watkins said there are a few options other than using chlorine to sanitize water: hydrogen peroxide and a newer product that uses ultraviolet light. Hydrogen peroxide can be a good alternative to chlorine and works especially well for sanitizing pond or river water. Like chlorine, hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous to store, and its effectiveness declines over time. Watkins said a newer product, the Silver Bullet, from Colorado-based Silver Bullet Water Treatment L.L.C., is promising. She said the product uses ultraviolet light and continuously infuses electrolyzed air into the water supply -- what the company calls an advanced oxidation process to leave a small amount of hydrogen peroxide in the water.“I love this concept because you can just continuously treat water and not over treat it,” Watkins said. Watkins said environmental factors like mold can reduce the effectiveness of the Silver Bullet – and other sanitizers – and because the product does not leave behind a residual amount of an active compound, the only way to gauge its success is microbial monitoring before and after use. She recommended using the diffuser in a holding tank or wellhead rather than with flowing water. Cleaning considerations are important to achieve aim of sanitized water,these tips are important and helpful:1) Use the right concentration of a cleaner and give it the proper amount of time to work. Improper cleaner concentration or not giving it enough time to work will result in failure. 2) The entire system must be cleaned: the water lines, standpipes, regulators and distribution pipes. If any part of the system is not cleaned of biofilm and other residue, it can undermine all the time and effort spent on cleaning and lead to health problems in a broiler flock. 3) Document which products work best for your operation. Watkins said no two farms are the same, so it is necessary to figure out which products work best and record it for future reference. Swabs of microbial content collected before and after cleaning can help determine which products work best. No matter how well the system was flushed clean: flush it with a sanitizer birds can drink after cleaning. Stabilized products work best because they keep working for days after application. The secondary treatment can kill microbes that survived the line cleaning. Excerpts from


The first person to survive rabies without being vaccinated is now a new mom of twins. Jeanna Giese-Frassetto gave birth to fraternal twins, Carly Ann Frassetto and Connor Primo Frassetto, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, March 26. "Our family is very blessed to have these children. We are lucky to have such beautiful babies," Jeanna said. In 2004, Giese-Frassetto was bitten by a bat in Fond du Lac. She did not seek immediate treatment and was diagnosed with rabies three weeks later. Doctors say she would have died if not for an experimental treatment, now known as the Milwaukee Protocol, that included a medically induced coma. Giese-Frassetto had a long recovery, including relearning to walk and talk.She married Scot Frassetto in September of 2014 and is now living in the Fox Valley. culled from Fox11online news

A look at Madagascar’s bushmeat trade finds that consumption is common and out in the open

A look at Madagascar’s bushmeat trade finds that consumption is common and out in the open


DNA seaweed authentication test launched in UK

DNA seaweed authentication test launched in UK: UK bulk seaweed ingredient supplier Seaweed & Co has teamed with Geneius Laboratories to develop a DNA-based seaweed certification test after working together for five months.

Illuminating the inner 'machines' that give bacteria an energy boost

Illuminating the inner 'machines' that give bacteria an energy boost: Scientists have tracked how microscopic organisms called cyanobacteria make use of internal protein 'machines' to boost their ability to convert carbon dioxide into sugar during photosynthesis.

More ancient viruses lurk in our DNA than we thought

More ancient viruses lurk in our DNA than we thought: Think your DNA is all human? Think again. And a new discovery suggests it's even less human than scientists previously thought. Nineteen new pieces of non-human DNA -- left by viruses that first infected our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago -- have just been found, lurking between our own genes.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Rhinos Being Airlifted to Australia to Avoid Poachers

Rhinos Being Airlifted to Australia to Avoid Poachers

Mood lighting for stress-free chickens | NewsDaily

Mood lighting for stress-free chickens | NewsDaily

Botulism in waterbirds: Mortality rates and new insights into how it spreads

Botulism in waterbirds: Mortality rates and new insights into how it spreads: Outbreaks of botulism killed large percentages of waterbirds inhabiting a wetland in Spain. The botulinum toxin's spread may have been abetted by an invasive species of water snail which frequently carries the toxin-producing bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, and which is well adapted to wetlands polluted by sewage. Global warming will likely increase outbreaks, say experts.

What bacteria sense in their surroundings: Knowing how environmental signals modulate bacterial behavior could help combat biofouling and antibiotic resistance

What bacteria sense in their surroundings: Knowing how environmental signals modulate bacterial behavior could help combat biofouling and antibiotic resistance: A new, rapid method is helping detect how bacteria sense and respond to changes in their environment. The food-poisoning pathogen, Salmonella, for example is adept at picking up cues to adjust to different locations and surrounding conditions. Researchers are trying to learn how external signals trigger some of its survival strategies, such as biofilm formation. Their new method could be tested in other bacterial species to increase knowledge about microbial sensing, and to develop practical medical, agricultural and industrial applications.

Food processors beware: Salmonella biofilms incredibly resistant to powerful disinfectants

Food processors beware: Salmonella biofilms incredibly resistant to powerful disinfectants: Once Salmonella bacteria get into a food processing facility and have an opportunity to form a biofilm on surfaces, it is likely to be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to kill it, according to research published.

Detecting Salmonella in pork meat processing: New methods

Detecting Salmonella in pork meat processing: New methods: Infections caused by foodborne microorganisms are an increasing public health burden. In a PhD project, new methods of characterizing and dectecting foodborne illness-causing Salmonella in pork meat processing and in bacteria in water, feed and food samples were studied.

Physicians can play key role in preventing foodborne illness

Physicians can play key role in preventing foodborne illness: Food safety awareness is key to understanding the food safety issues on the horizon, and clinicians at hospitals and doctors' offices play a key role in ensuring consumers are aware of the threats of foodborne illness, says an expert.

Microscopic structures of vegetable surfaces contribute to foodborne illness

Microscopic structures of vegetable surfaces contribute to foodborne illness: Foodborne illness outbreaks do more than make us sick. Not only can the U.S. economy suffer as a result of reduced worker productivity, particular sectors of the farming industry can experience negative consumer perception, potentially leading to sustained profit losses. In an effort to understand and eventually reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses, researchers studied the ability of pathogenic viruses to adhere to fresh produce surfaces.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Improved Tilapia: The GIFT that keeps giving

Improved Tilapia: The GIFT that keeps giving: Genetically Imporved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) has been developed for nearly 30 years to have fast growth, benefiting millions across the world

Better livestock diets to combat climate change, improve food security

Better livestock diets to combat climate change, improve food security: The projected transition of livestock systems from pure grazing diets to diets supplemented by higher quality feeds will cut greenhouse gas emissions from land use change globally by as much as 23 percent by 2030, while improving food availability and farmers' income, shows new research. Cows, sheep, and goats grow more quickly and produce more milk when they eat energy-rich diets that include grain supplements or improved forages. This means that more livestock can be raised on less land, and with fewer emissions per pound of meat or milk produced.

Greenhouse gas mitigation potential from livestock sector revealed

Greenhouse gas mitigation potential from livestock sector revealed: Scientists have found that the global livestock sector can maintain the economic and social benefits it delivers while significantly reducing emissions, and in doing so help meet the global mitigation challenge.

No sign of health or nutrition problems from GMO livestock feed, study finds

No sign of health or nutrition problems from GMO livestock feed, study finds: A new review study finds there is no evidence in earlier scientific studies indicating that genetically engineered feed crops harmed the health or productivity of livestock and poultry, and that food products from animals consuming such feeds were nutritionally the same as products from animals that ate non-GMO feeds.

Using GM crops, genetically chosen cows, and technology like satellites and drones, Uruguay - with a population of just 3 million people - is aiming to produce enough food to feed 50 million. Duration: 03:10Video provided by AFP

using GM crops, genetically chosen cows, and technology like satellites and drones, Uruguay - with a population of just 3 million people - is aiming to produce enough food to feed 50 million. e

Friday, March 25, 2016

In Mozambique, researchers are training rats to sniff out tuberculosis -- a cutting-edge technique designed to improve diagnosis and save lives. Duration: 01:13Video provided by AFP

In Mozambique, researchers are training rats to sniff out tuberculosis -- a cutting-edge technique designed to improve diagnosis and save lives. Duration: 01:13
Video provided by AFP
: In Mozambique, researchers are training rats to sniff out tuberculosis -- a cutting-edge technique designed to improve diagnosis and save lives. Duration: 01:13
Video provided by AFP

A cheap, fast, genetic test could help doctors more easily distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes when diagnosing patients. Jim Drury reports.Video provided by Reuters

A cheap, fast, genetic test could help doctors more easily distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes when diagnosing patients. Jim Drury reports.
Video provided by Reuters
: A cheap, fast, genetic test could help doctors more easily distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes when diagnosing patients. Jim Drury reports.
Video provided by Reuters

Researcher improves crop performance with new biotechnology: Farmers can use fewer resources to grow food

Researcher improves crop performance with new biotechnology: Farmers can use fewer resources to grow food: Researchers have discovered a way to enhance a plant's tolerance to stress, which in turn improves how it uses water and nutrients from the soil. These improvements increase plant biomass and yield. This discovery could be instrumental in agriculture and food security by improving crop sustainability and performance.

Micro-sanctuaries key to survival of wildlife in human-dominated landscapes

Micro-sanctuaries key to survival of wildlife in human-dominated landscapes: Maintaining even the tiniest wildlife sanctuaries will help preserve some biodiversity in increasingly urbanized landscapes, a new report suggests.

BSE-infected cow dies in France

BSE-infected cow dies in France: A cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has died in France, making it the third detected case of the fatal virus in Europe since 2015, according to the French government.

Curcumin may help overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis

Curcumin may help overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis: New research indicates that curcumin -- a substance in turmeric that is best known as one of the main components of curry powder -- may help fight drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Danish company Reconpharma brings supplements for soldiers to US

Danish company Reconpharma brings supplements for soldiers to US: The nutraceutical start-up out of Denmark markets dietary supplements to “help manage and prevent the physical and psychological pressure of persons serving in the military.”

Healthy tears: Vitamin C may protect against cataracts

Healthy tears: Vitamin C may protect against cataracts: Increasing vitamin C intake may have a protective effect against the progression of cataracts, a British study has revealed.


The prices for maize and soy-based feed soar due to shortages ,thus many farmers are looking for alternatives. Mr Kuwana is producing maggots — small, white, crawling worms that feed on waste — to provide protein for his breeding flock of 120 free-range chickens and 1,000 quail. "I have struggled to find nutritious feed for quite some time now," said the entrepreneur, unfazed by the stink of decomposing waste filling the air and the flies swarming around. In search of a solution, he began experimenting with maggots last September. "The results have been exceptional," he said.This business is not for the faint-hearted. For Mr Kuwana, it involves stuffing pungent bird faeces into an old, open 20-litre plastic container, allowing flies to lay their eggs there. Ideally, the maggot-breeding equipment consists of two containers stacked on top of each other, with holes drilled in their lids and the base of the top one. As the eggs start to hatch, the emerging larvae — the maggots — feed on the waste before crawling out to pupate in the bottom container where they are harvested and dried for feed. The entire process takes less than a week. Maggots are made up of 65% protein and 25% fat, compared with 35% protein in soy-based feed, according to Victor Marufu of the Zimbabwe Organic and Natural Food Association. The independent organisation trains small farmers in maggot production. "The value produced from nothing competes with supply chains that are under heavy sustainability stress," Mr Marufu said. One kilogram of fly eggs turns into about 190kg of dried larvae in just three days. For some, maggot production may be the stuff of nightmares, but others are hailing it as a dream come true for controlling waste and climate-changing emissions. The industrial process of producing maggot-based stock feed — using a series of tanks in a purpose-built structure — generates five times less greenhouse gas emissions than soy or maize stock feed, according to Chinhoyi University research. One tonne of stock feed made from maggots, about two tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is emitted, compared with about 10 tonnes for soy-based feed. Experts say maggot production could help cut Zimbabwe’s annual emissions of 417 gigatonnes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In 2000, the waste sector accounted for 16% of national methane emissions, government data shows. Zim Earthworm Farms, a farming technology enterprise, is now looking to go commercial with maggot production after a year of trials. "We have been producing a sizeable amount of maggots that are killed in the biogas digester, dried and then mixed with the maize-based feed we produce," CEO Ephraim Whingwiri said. The mixed feed, which can also be fed to pigs and fish, sustains about 300 chickens at Zim Earthworm Farms, but now Mr Whingwiri is eyeing expansion. The team has worked out that having a constant supply of fresh waste is key to maintaining a high population of flies; just one factor that will support their new business drive. "The work tends to put many people off," said Mr Whingwiri. "But the worm itself doesn’t smell bad at all." Excerpts from Business day Live

Insecure feed supply challenges Zimbabwe poultry sector

Insecure feed supply challenges Zimbabwe poultry sector: Insecure supplies of corn and soybeans through to next year are among the factors threatening the survival of the poultry sector in Zimbabwe, according to the latest report in Newsday.

Nigerian egg industry battles avian flu

Nigerian egg industry battles avian flu: With a further 65 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in poultry reported by the Nigeria’s veterinary authority to the World Organisation for Animal Health over the last three weeks, Nigeria is the country worst affected by the disease at the present time.


Poultry International December 2015
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pages 24-25 Table of Contents


Poultry International December 2015
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pages 20-21 Table of Contents

Pre--slaughter poultry processing tips.

Poultry International April 2016
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pages 30-31 Table of Contents

Monday, March 21, 2016

Probiotic effective in treating gum inflammation: Study

Probiotic effective in treating gum inflammation: Study: Probiotics can benefit inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, a meta-analysis suggests.

GreenOnyx on home-brewed mission to serve ‘missing nutrition’

GreenOnyx on home-brewed mission to serve ‘missing nutrition’: How do you ensure nutrients are fresh? How about growing them in a ‘superfood machine’ in your kitchen? US start-up GreenOnyx has the technology, an Asian micro-vegetable called khai-nam and is set for launch on both sides of the Atlantic.


The remarkable recovery of a dog nursed back to health from the brink of death recently highlights the value of a simple genetic test that can help owners determine if their pets are vulnerable to what in most cases is a safe, commonly-used drug. Bristol, a 4-year-old Australian Shepherd, was brought to the Hospital for Small Animals , barely responsive and experiencing persistent seizures. The owner suspected Bristol was suffering from severe ivermectin toxicity, a condition in which ivermectin, the active ingredient in some heart-worm prevention medicines, crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes neurological damage. Bristol required immediate and aggressive care, including the assistance of a mechanical ventilator. She also underwent a brain MRI to rule out other causes of her condition. Although Bristol began to breathe on her own within 10 days, she remained unconscious for three weeks. Eventually, she began walking with the assistance of a cart and leg splints, and later began walking under her own power with support from hospital staff. After a month of treatment, Bristol regained her normal personality traits and the ability to walk, eat and drink on her own. One or two cases of ivermectin toxicity occur each year and they are most frequently the result of accidents, such as when dogs are exposed to higher-dose ivermectin products intended for horses. Although products containing ivermectin are typically safe and effective, many white-footed herding breed dogs like Bristol have a genetic mutation that makes them sensitive to it and several other drugs, including some common chemotherapy drugs.The gene mutation test would enable owners know for sure if they could safely use some of these other drugs, many herding dogs undergo a simple genetic test to determine if they have a mutation in the multidrug resistance (MDR1) gene. Dogs could be indirectly exposed as in the above case that the dog had access to feces of a sheep that was recently dewormed using ivermectin. This also highlights the need for owners to be vigilant when their dogs are in certain settings, such as on farms or in barns, where other animals might have been treated with high concentrations of ivermectin. Source Tufts University.


Getting to work early in the morning can be an herculean task for many people who have to commute for 3-4 hours before they get to work because of congestion issues,fuel crisis and basically because most people face a particular direction everyday,thus choking the routes because everybody wants to beat traffic. The funny aspect is everybody is moving about the same time and singing the same song" i want to beat traffic" guess what?? we all are the traffic,and the earlier we all change routes/schedules or motoring style we are all going to do this for a long time. A recent study tagged Understanding congested travel in urban areas, by Serdar Çolak, Antonio Lima and Marta C. González examined the way drivers travel between points in Boston and San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and Lisbon and Porto in Portugal. This paper was recently published and mind boggling;they used road map data provided by local authorities and OpenStreetMap to analyse the journeys of millions of road users based on huge mobile phone data sets known as CDRs. Individuals can be identified from CDR data by a hashed user identification string, and their regular movements and timestamps can be used to identify the start and end points of regular journeys. The team used this information to model the way drivers select routes in large cities. They found that drivers were increasingly using real-time data from GPS devices to move faster. But as access to real-time traffic information is not coordinated between different services and users, this result in a "suboptimal system", the researchers explained. "Smartphone apps could offer points and vouchers to drivers who are willing to take longer routes that avoid congested areas"Antonio Lima and Marta C. González states their study indicates "that on average 15–30 percent of total minutes lost in congestion is caused solely by selfish routing." When they modelled how traffic would flow if city residents used socially-aware routing to reduce average travel times for everyone. Individual drivers would only see marginal time improvements of between one and three minutes on most short urban journeys, but the researchers found that 30 percent less time would be lost to congestion across an entire city. Urban congestion often involves a staggering number of factors, particularly where multi-mode journeys, such as those going from car, to train, to foot, intersect, as illustrated by a recent study suggesting that slowing down London's tube network could improve journey times across the city due to bottlenecks resulting from the tube being faster than road traffic. It's also not clear how much of a difference improving private vehicle congestion by encouraging optimal routing would make when compared to improving public transport, cycling and pedestrian facilities. However, the rise of autonomous vehicles could mean that one day, our cars will work out their own preferred routes for the good of the transport system, and leave us to think about other things entirely. read more at Monday morning traffic # traffic congestion # chocked drive routes # phone apps # technology # self-driving cars.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

How animals can give you tuberculosis.

Cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis are spreading infections to humans by the following routes ;eating unpasteurized milk products form infected herds is a prime source of infection and Living and working in close proximity to infected animals also puts humans at risk. In 2014, an estimated 9.6 million people were infected by tuberculosis, according to the World Health Organization. Potentially fatal -- 1.5 million died from it the same year -- it is a disease known to be spread from human to human. But a subset of those contracting the disease today are getting it from infected animals. Tuberculosis can spread through your food, as well as the air, via infected animals.The most common culprits are infected cattle and the most common source are their infected food products, such as milk and cheese. Cows and many other animals can harbor bovine tuberculosis (TB), a disease caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis -- a close relative of the bacteria that cause human tuberculosis. Risk of human disease rises when animal infections aren't controlled. The existence of Bovine TB among animals and humans is not unique to the Americas. The disease is found globally, particularly in Africa and parts of Asia, and in a 2012 study by the International Livestock Research Institute, more than 7% of livestock screened globally tested positive for the disease. "[In India] people are very intimately associated with their cows ... we look after the cattle, men sleep in the area where cattle are tethered ... the proximity is very close," says Krishna Prasad Hanumanthappa from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Hanumanthappa has seen the presence of both regular and bovine TB cow milk in India. Here, however, he says ingestion is not the main concern."The practice of boiling milk has been one of the greatest safeguards we've had on transmission," says Hanumanthappa. He instead worries about the disease spreading through other means. Bacteria can be excreted through fecal matter, urine, coughs, and sneezes," he explains. In most countries in Africa, bovine TB is endemic, but experts say regular milk pasteurization and slaughterhouse meat inspections are rare. "We used to see a lot of cattle slaughtered with TB lesions in the lungs of the animals ... and locals eat these products," says Simeon Cadmus, from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His recent study of a sample of livestock workers in Nigeria found 6-7% of traders and butchers to be infected with TB of some kind. Cadmeus also worries about people rearing cattle who live closely with their cows. "They eat, drink and stay all their lives with their cattle," says Cadmeus who adds that further studies of his among herds have found 40-60% of cattle infected. "Because of poor animal health issues ... the pastoralists also get infected," he says. Read more here;

The snails spreading fever across Africa.

Freshwater snails are spreading chronic disease across sub-Saharan Africa,the snails harbor parasitic schistomosoma worms that burrow into human skin.All it takes is a snail, a worm and some freshwater to become infected. Once you are, the disease could persist for decades -- and prove fatal. The culprits come as a pair: freshwater snails harboring parasitic worms. Once released from the snails, the worms can burrow into the skin and deep inside the body of any human daring to enter its waters The infection at hand is schistosomiasis -- also known as bilharzia -- a chronic infection caused by parasitic Schistomosa worms that can live inside blood vessels for years on end causing fever, chills and inflammation . "Any freshwater which has these snails in them could be the cause of infection," says Alan Fenwick, Professor of Tropical Parasitology at Imperial College London. The majority of infected waters are found in Africa, particularly the continent's largest lake -- Lake Victoria -- where risk of infection is high. The challenge in controlling the disease is that people often don't develop symptoms for years, but can continue to transmit the infection. Inside the human body, female worms grow into adults and lay eggs that migrate through the body for release in faeces. If released into freshwater -- through defecation in the water -- they hatch and become ready to infect any freshwater snails in their path. Once inside the snails, the young worms transform into versions of themselves now capable of burrowing back into human skin. On release back into the water they swim ready to, again, infect humans in their vicinity. It's a perpetual cycle in which the parasites use both snails and humans to their advantage, manipulating both, to ensure the survival of their species. The eggs of the parasites travel primarily to the intestine when inside humans, for release, but along this journey can become trapped in organs and intestinal lining to cause inflammation. The characteristic symptom of the disease is a swollen abdomen. More than 61 million people were treated for schistosomiasis in 2014, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and more than 258 million required preventative treatment . The majority of cases are in Africa and outweigh numbers affected by other diseases in the region. The problem that sub Saharan Africa has is a lack of fresh water, safe water, and adequate sanitation .People who need to urinate and defecate tend to do so on the open ground, and their excreta can be washed into water where the eggs will then infect snails. According to WHO, 90% of those requiring treatment for schistosomiasis live in Africa, but most of them live around lake and river regions. The factor helping the disease persist, is poor sanitation. Infections primarily affect young children, but symptoms can take years to appear, making finding and treating those infected a challenge. The team has to proactively go out and find children who are infected and treat them so that we protect them from an early grave. The main control strategy to date has been mass treatment using the drug praziquantil. read more at

Lassa fever death rates in Nigeria .

More than 130 people are suspected to have died from a Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria, according to statistics from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The disease can cause fever and haemorrhaging of various parts of the body -- including the eyes and nose -- and can be spread through contact with an infected rat. Person to person transmission is also possible, albeit less common. For people witnessing the symptoms, alarm bells may ring and raise fears of Ebola -- but this is not Ebola. West Africa as a region is seeing a flare-up of the disease, but Nigeria -- where Lassa fever was first discovered in 1969 -- is experiencing much higher mortality rates than usual. On average, Lassa fever is deadly in 1% of all individuals infected, with higher rates of 15% morbidity among people hospitalized for the illness, but the current outbreak in Nigeria has seen more than 50% of those affected dying from their infection. According to NCDC's latest report, dated 14 March 2016, the total number of reported cases is 254 (129 of which confirmed by lab tests) and the total number of deaths (suspected, probable and confirmed) is 137, with a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 53.9%. Increased mortality and spread. A 2012 outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria caused more than 1,700 people to become infected, but 112 deaths, according to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC). Despite lower case numbers, the death toll in the current outbreak are already higher. "The deaths among cases are higher than normal, and we are currently establishing the reason for this," says Abdulsalami Nasidi, Director of the NCDC. A further concern is the geographic spread of the outbreak: "More states are affected (than usual), and we're evaluating possible reasons," says Nasidi. Beyond what's usual Lassa fever outbreaks occur most years in West Africa, as the disease is endemic to Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria. Each year, the virus infects an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 and is responsible for 5,000 deaths in the region as a whole. Ebola Fast Facts; Lassa virus is in the same family of viruses as Ebola and Marburg virus, which also cause fever and sometimes haemorrhage. The virus is named after the Nigerian town of Lassa where it was first discovered. Outbreaks generally occur during the region's dry season -- typically between November to February -- but this time it's persisting. Officials are speculating reasons for the increased mortality and spread, but the truth remains unknown. "Viruses change over time," says Nasidi. One theory officials are suggesting for the spread of the virus into new states, is that there may be better awareness of symptoms after the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has infected more than 28,000 people . Previously, infections often went unreported as the disease mainly affects rural areas where populations can be highly infected, but don't notify the authorities. How does Lassa fever spread? The main culprit behind the transmission of Lassa fever is the "multimammate rat" -- a reservoir for the virus with the ability to spread it to humans. Touching, consuming, or inhaling, the urine or feces of a rat carrying the virus is the prime route of infection in humans. This generally happens through contaminated food and surfaces within people's homes -- particularly during the dry season. When the rains are over, the rats then come closer to humans to steal grains," says David Heymann, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In rural areas, communities often store grains in their homes after the harvest to get them through the dry season. "They urinate and defecate on the rice, which makes the uncooked rice a source of human infection," says Heymann. The meat of rodents is often eaten in the region, further increasing the likelihood of transmission. Contact with the bodily fluids, or tissues, of another human carrying the virus is also a mode of transmission, but more rare. symptoms and diagnosis The symptoms of the disease are wide-ranging and vary from mild to severe in different cases, making diagnosis a challenge. One in five of those infected will experience symptoms including haemorrhage, respiratory problems and facial swelling, especially if diagnosed late with the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The remaining 80% experience much milder symptoms such as fever and weakness, which can often go undiagnosed. Up to one third of people infected also risk losing their hearing. Treatment is available with the antiviral drug Ribavirin, but this has its greatest effect if used early. Taking control, through prevention; The NCDC and Ministry of Health have increased resources to handle the outbreak, such as mapping those at most risk, improving access to diagnostics and engaging with communities to recognize the signs and symptoms. "Every life counts and every case must be investigated," says Nasidi. Given the increased mortality, the priority is prevention. This includes reducing the chances of contact between humans and rat colonies. Sales of rat poison in Nigeria have boomed since the outbreak was announced, according to reports by the news service AFP. As with Ebola, awareness and increased use of personal protective equipment when handling patients is also crucial to prevent human to human transmission, particularly in health clinics. "The government has made the right recommendations about infection control in health facilities...the virus is passed from person to person by poor infection control," says Heymann. As outbreaks are somewhat regular, health officials are still hopeful the current spike in infections will come to a natural end. "From past experiences we expect numbers to start decreasing in March/April," says Nasidi. culled from :


A male lion that strayed into rush hour traffic in the Kenyan capital injured one man before being captured and taken back to a reserve that lies on the edge of the city, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said. KWS, which manages the country’s safari reserves including the Nairobi National Park on the outskirts of the capital, said its units had caught the lion after images posted on social media showed it wandering along a main road near the park. A man who was injured by the lion (has been) taken to hospital, KWS said on its Twitter feed. KWS spokesman Paul Udoto told Kenya’s NTV that the elderly man was in a stable condition after the black-maned lion attacked him when it became agitated by the hooting of car horns by passing motorists. The images on social media showed the lion walking along a grassy verge next to the busy road and past some people who looked on from behind a closed iron-bar gate. Inside Nairobi National Park, which lies on the city limits, tourists enjoy views of lions, rhinos, giraffes, zebras and other wildlife against a backdrop of high-rise buildings. Lions are occasionally spotted in the city close to the park after finding a way through fences that protect the built-up areas near the reserve. Read more at

Fourth person dies of Ebola in latest flare up in Guinea

A fourth person has died of Ebola in Guinea in the latest flare up of an epidemic that has killed more than 11,300 people in that country, Sierra Leone and Liberia since 2013 but now claims few victims. The young girl who was hospitalized at the Ebola treatment center in Nzerekore is dead,” said Fode Tass Sylla, spokesman for the center that coordinates Guinea’s fight against the virus. Three others have died of the virus since Feb. 29. Health workers on Saturday also stepped up efforts to trace anyone who could have come into contact with the family. The world’s worst recorded Ebola epidemic is believed to have started in Guinea and killed about 2,500 people there by December last year, at which point the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) said it was no longer actively transmitted. WHO warned, however, that Ebola could resurface at any time, since it can linger in the eyes, central nervous system and bodily fluids of some survivors. It was not immediately clear how the villagers from Korokpara, around 100 km (60 miles) from Nzerekore, had contracted the disease but the area had previously resisted efforts to fight the illness in the initial epidemic. Read more at


A research carried out in the university of Missouri-Columbia has come up with a motion sensor called a lameness locator that effectively detects lameness faster than the subjective eye-test. The study published in the Equine Veterinary Journal, Keegan and co-author Meghan McCracken, an equine surgery resident at MU, put special adjustable shoes on horses that temporarily induced symptoms of lameness. The horses were then monitored by the Lameness Locator as well as by a number of veterinarians using any lameness testing methods they wished. If no lameness was detected by either the veterinarians or the Lameness Locator, the special shoes were adjusted slightly to increase the symptoms of lameness. This process was repeated until both the Lameness Locator and the participating veterinarians properly identified in which leg of the horse the lameness was occurring. Keegan and McCracken found that the Lameness Locator was able to correctly identify lameness earlier than veterinarians using subjective eye test methods more than 58 percent of the time and more than 67 percent of the time when the lameness occurred in the hind legs of the horse. Keegan attributes this to the sensors' high sensitivity levels. There are two reasons why the Lameness Locator is better than the naked eye, It samples motion at a higher frequency beyond the capability of the human eye and it removes the bias that frequently accompanies human subjective evaluation. The most common ailment to affect a horse is lameness , equine lameness may begin subtly and can range from a simple mild problem affecting a single limb to a more complicated one affecting multiple limbs, veterinarians and horse owners know that early detection is the key to successful outcomes.If veterinarians can detect lameness earlier, before it gets too bad, it makes treatment much easier. Lameness often goes undetected or undiagnosed entirely, which can cause owners to retire horses earlier than needed, simply because they cannot figure out why the horses are unhealthy. The Lameness Locator, which is now in commercial use, places small sensors on the horse's head, right front limb and croup, near the tail. The sensors monitor and record the horse's torso movement while the horse is trotting. The recorded information is then transferred to a computer or mobile device and compared against databases recorded from the movement of healthy horses and other lame horses. The computer is then able to diagnose whether or not the horse is lame. diagnostic kits # sensor # equine health # computer



A new technique has been developed to ease diagnosis issues in horses,the procedure uses a camera pill to aid visualization of the gut. The research was carried out by veterinary researcher Dr. Julia Montgomery in the U of S Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Montgomery worked with equine surgeon Dr. Joe Bracamonte and Khan Wahid, a specialist in health informatics and imaging in the College of Engineering. The team used an endoscopy capsule about the size and shape of a vitamin pill with a camera to have a look inside a horse. The capsule pill endoscopy offers a powerful new tool to diagnose diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and cancer, or to check surgical sites. Researchers could use it to see how well drugs to stimulate bowel action are working, or to answer basic questions such as determining what normal small intestine function looks like. The advantage of this method of diagnosis is that the inside of the horse can be viewed and a better understanding gained as to the normal operations of the intestine,with little or no stress to the animal. The other forms of diagnosis prior to this are endoscopy,exploratory surgery, or laparascopy. The "camera pills" have been in use for human medicine for some time, but have just been used in equine health. The team used in the horse by administering the capsule through a stomach tube directly to the horse's stomach. The journey down the track was noted for the next eight hours, as the capsule and its camera made its way through the horse's small intestine, offering a continuous picture of what was going on. This will really ease diagnosis issues and speed up treatment in horses,thus ensuring equine health is maintained when eventually available.The team plans to run more tests in the next few months on different horses to gather more data so as to provide capsule pill specific to the horses. diagnosis# diagnostic kits# equine health # data #

Friday, March 18, 2016

Poultry vaccines nullify antibiotic need

Poultry vaccines nullify antibiotic need: The Ceva Poultry Vaccinology Summit in Barcelona has said vaccines, not antibiotics, are the long-term solution to the prevention of dangerous poultry diseases like avian influenza (AI).

Ukraine hit with African swine fever

Ukraine hit with African swine fever: A farm in the Kirovograd region of Ukraine has had to slaughter more than a dozen pigs after the African swine fever (ASF) disease was detected by health officials this week.

Alzheimer's could be treated with lab grown neural networks.

A team from Rutgers University, in a study published in Nature Communications, states that neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's could be treated with the help of a new, lab-grown, neural network. This is done by injecting neural networks into damaged mice brains a process that could help with treatment of such diseases.The process, which researchers refer to as "3D micro-scaffolding", has several stages. Neurons are grown in a lab by exposing stem cells to proteins, meaning they develop into neurons. These neurons grow inside the 'scaffold' of polymer fibres and are subsequently injected, as a network, into the brain. Several neurons, and neural networks, were injected into diseased mice brains. The researchers found that networks, rather than individual neurons, were far better at surviving in the brain - 40 percent more likely to survive, in some cases.This is a promising new platform that could make the transplantation of neurons a viable treatment for a broad range of human neuro-degenerative disorders . Though the team is as yet unsure how the neural networks will prevent the progression of the disease, they are hopeful that it will help treat the damage caused by degenerative diseases. culled from


Melbourne based biotechnology company Biotempus has made a remarkable discovery: cancer patients’ [both canine and human] immune systems run on a cycle and thus delivering treatment at the wrong times could be reducing the efficacy. Dr Noam Pik, the general manager at ASAP Laboratory, explained they hypothesised that a seven-day cycle was the key to the efficacy of treatment by building on previous medical research. “This discovery was made by Martin Ashdown while investigating AIDS with mice after noticing some responded better to the same treatment at different times post inoculation,” said Dr Pik. “This lead to the hypothesis that the immune system operates differently in the time domain. That is, at certain times it is more effective at eliminating disease.” Read more here;


MELBOURNE scientists say a new canine cancer trial has produced exciting results that could lead to a breakthrough in human treatment.Dr Noam Pik, head of the veterinary division at West Melbourne biotechnology research group Biotempus, is leading the free clinical trial and said early results were mind-blowing The 12-month trial, which is being conducted at 20 veterinary clinics around Australia, was launched in December and according to Dr Pik, several dogs had already shown signs of remission. Dr Pik said dogs were given a single dose of chemotherapy — a tablet — that did not target the tumour, but attacked (T-Regulatory) cells within the patient’s own immune system.If this trial proves effective, they plan to offer this service to canine patients within 24 months and then continue to humans. These cells suppressed the natural cancer-fighting mechanism of other (T-Effector) cells in the immune system ,if the T-Regulatory cells can be selectively killed, the T-Effector cells can get on with the job of eliminating cancer undisturbed. This method has been researched before but Dr Pik’s team has discovered a way to predict when the suppressor cells are most vulnerable — the optimum time to administer the chemo and kill the cells. The team discovered the immune system moves in cycles and can be mapped. Dogs are required to give blood samples every second day for up to three weeks, so experts can track their immune cycle and identify the best time to administer the drug. The last decade of research has shown considerable progress in the field of immunotherapy — using the patients’ own immune system to fight the cancer. The contribution of the tumor micro-environment is immense and has been previously largely underestimated. Thus, we believe it is important to aim treatment at both the tumor itself and the tumor environment with the aim of achieving more effective and durable cancer treatments. The chemo tablets cost less than $5, the treatment could potentially slash the cost of canine cancer treatment. The low-dose tablet is strong enough to correct the immune imbalance without the harsh side effects usually associated with chemo, such as nausea.


A startup is kicking off and its using dog's saliva in its tool to give dog owners the disease of their breeds and trace the pedigree.The startup called EMBARK is a DNA KIT that will give information to owners about disease risk and also trace ancestry. The company founders rolling out the product says the real objective is that the research will help to conduct various tests with the DNA samples and use the potential of dog genetics to deliver advancements in human health. Dogs and humans share many of the same kinds of conditions, hence by studying the genetics of diseases in dogs, scientists may be able to figure out how these originate in humans. The kit by engaging mass numbers of dog owners, will provide data that will unlock the potential of the dog as a model system and that is the real idea behind Embark. The founders have figured out that it’s a lot easier to fund research if study participants — or their owners — pay for the privilege of taking part in a study. Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine has already agreed to be an Embark research partner, and the company intends to conduct its own studies, under the guidance of Adam Boyko, Embark's chief science officer, a dog geneticist at Cornell University, and Ryan’s brother. This kit will provide a framework for breeders and dog owners and will also be an important planning tool in terms of insurance.Client education about various diseases ,management and life expectancy of certain conditions will really help to address issues of breeding and animal welfare. The snag about this test will be the limiting of certain breeds and excessive breeding of other breeds which will over time phase out some breeds. # data bank #gene pool # gene bank # breeders # genetics.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Green entrepreneurs tackle Indonesia's growing trash mountains .

ng-trash-mountains/#iRKkEwXYmmRuW319.15">Green entrepreneurs tackle Indonesia's growing trash mountains | NewsDaily Some residents of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, frustrated by the mounting trash problem across the sprawling metropolis, have started taking matters into their own hands. Hamidi, a young “green entrepreneur” became so concerned by the overflowing Jakarta city dump that he began turning discarded plastic into fuel. “At the very beginning I just wanted to start a business,” said Hamidi, who started his waste-to-energy initiative a year ago in Tangerang, a satellite city about 25 km (15 miles) west of Jakarta. Read more at

Meat turns up the heat as livestock emit greenhouse gases.

Studies by Carnegie institution shows that eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock. The research shows that livestock emissions are on the rise and that beef cattle are responsible for far more greenhouse gas emissions than other types of animals. The tasty hamburger has been fingered as a major culprit and It might be better for the environment if meat consumption is cut down. The effect of eating pork or chicken instead of beef has a much positive impact on environment . Carbon dioxide is the most-prevalent gas when it comes to climate change. It is released by vehicles, industry, and forest removal and also comprises the greatest portion of greenhouse gas . The methane and nitrous oxide are also greenhouse gasses and account for approximately 28 percent of global warming activity. Methane and nitrous oxide are released, in part, by livestock. Animals release methane as a result of microorganisms that are involved in their digestive processes and nitrous oxide from decomposing manure. These two gasses are responsible for a quarter of these non-carbon dioxide gas emissions and 9 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions overall. The researchers found a difference between livestock-related emissions in the developing world, which accounts for most of this increase, and that released by developed countries. This is expected to increase further going forward, as demand for meat, dairy products, and eggs is predicted by some scientists to double by 2050. By contrast, developed countries reached maximum livestock emissions in the 1970s and have been in decline since that time. Feeding manipulation and different management methods have demonstrated changes in levels of gas released.Cows fed on hay and pasture burp more due to ruminal activity on the feed thus releasing more methane than other cows on grains and corn where there is less emission.


Cattle contributes to global warming by burping and farting large amounts of greenhouse gases and Some of the same gases are also emitted from cow pats on pastures. Researchers have found that beetles living in cow pats may reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas, methane. By digging around in their food, dung beetles like Aphodius pedellus may aerate cow pats and thereby modify methane emissions which will prevent climatic changes according to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE. Agriculture is one of the biggest sources of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and among these, cattle farming for meat and milk are major sources of methane, a gas with a potent warming effect. A large percentage of this methane comes from the guts of ruminating cattle, but some escapes from dung pats on pastures. Cow pats offer a prime food for a large number of organisms there are probably as many beetle species living in dung . The dung beetles live and spend most of their entire lives within the dung pats. The beetles exert much of their impact by simply digging around in the dung, and the tunneling by beetles seems to aerate the pats. This will have a major impact on how carbon escapes from cow pats into the atmosphere. This aeration prevents the production of methane,thus preventing the warming effect of the gas.

Feeding cattle with garlic reduces methane emission.

. Cattle produce a lot of methane which is a green house gas,thus contributing to global warming. The feeding pattern of the cattle results in series of burps/flatus generating a lot of methane,which in turn causes climatic changes. A school of thought suggests cutting down on beef production or totally stop the production,but the benefits of the cattle cannot be ignored and since there are no acceptable substitutes other options must be proposed.. The vegan group advocates more converts,but many people are unwillingly to rock the boat. The livestock industry accounts for over 15% of the total greenhouse emissions,even higher than that of the transport sector,thus adjustments must be made in livestock sector. These approaches will involve improved genetic selection through breeding, modification of dietary composition, rumen microbial manipulation and vaccines against the methanogenic bacteria that generate the methane in these animals and various other techniques. It is possible that among the approaches or with a combination of approaches there might be a way to reduce the global burden of methane emissions from livestock. The changes in nutrition and feed play a vital role on methane production by ruminants thus manipulating the diet of these animals to reduce absolute methane emissions is the key to reduce these emissions.There has been various modifications to feed/feeding pattern by various feed companies all with varying degrees of success such as DSM, a Dutch science firm, developed a powder that can be added to feed and inhibits the production of methane in the cow’s rumen. According to findings published in the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from DSM and Penn State University studied the effect of the supplement on 48 dairy cows over the course of 12 weeks and found promising results. They observed that cows whose feed contained the powder produced 30 percent less methane and gained weight compared to cows who ate typical diets and milk production was not changed. Feed intervention has also been done by German researchers who created a methane-reducing pill, and scientists in Wales found that cows who consumed garlic produced 50 percent less gas although the impact of garlic-based diet on the taste of milk or meat is largely unknown . Feed supplements,additives ,changes in diet and management of herd could hold answer to this climatic change without compromising the protein source and major source of milk and milk products in man.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Think yourself clear,set a course. Learn from the pro!!!

man faces rabies risk after monkey bites in Bali .

A man who is getting rabies shots after a monkey bit him on the head in Bali has warned travellers against going near the creatures.Anthony Wallace, of East Gosford, was on a seven-day holiday with girlfriend Libby McManus when he was bitten at Ubud Monkey Forest. After the bite happened, Mr Wallace went to a first-aid centre at the monkey forest.A Balinese doctor cleaned the wounds with salty water and antiseptic and administered a tetanus shot. He said the monkeys get tested for rabies once a year by an Australian doctor and the monkeys don't have rabies, but it was up to me if I wanted a rabies shot," Mr Wallace said. Mr Wallace, 46, sought advice from a Central Coast doctor when he returned home. "The doctor told him "if you get rabies you will die". Medical records showed rabies was almost always fatal after neurological symptoms had appeared.However, vaccination could prevent the disease even after exposure.Mr Wallace decided to undergo treatment, which included an immunoglobulin injection into the bite wounds."I had four injections into my scalp," he said."The right side of my head was puffed up like a balloon." Additionally, Mr Wallace must have four shots of rabies vaccine over two weeks. Mr Wallace said the experience was "not something you'd like to see others go through".He and his girlfriend took precautions when visiting the monkeys, but had not realised the extent of the dangers they posed. They didn't take a backpack, sunglasses or hats to ensure the monkeys had nothing to grab."They had signs saying 'don't stare at or tease the monkeys'," Mr Wallace said. A lady was selling bunches of bananas to feed the monkeys, which they agreed to do."One of the big monkeys jumped on my shoulder – I thought that was pretty cool," he said."I gave the monkey the banana and it started to eat it." He didn't touch or provoke the monkey."Something dropped on my pants, I looked down and the monkey kind of freaked out." It dropped the banana, wrapped its arm around his eyes and took "a couple of big bites of my head", jumped off and ran away. Australia's smartraveller website strongly advised people to "avoid direct contact" with monkeys, dogs and other mammals in Indonesia because of rabies risk. BA World Health Organisation fact sheet said rabies infection "causes tens of thousands of deaths every year, mostly in Asia and Africa". Rabies is a vaccine-preventable viral disease which occurs in more than 150 countries and territories. Dogs were the source of most human deaths from rabies. The disease was present "on all continents", except Antarctica. More than 15 million people a year receive a post-bite vaccination. Culled from Newcastle Herald.


This is usually diagnosed in dogs and sometimes cats in this part of the world, with particular reference to dogs running wild and biting people.The virus can affect other animals such as horses,foxes,skunks,bats and cattle,but the usual suspect is the dog. A bite from an infected wild animal, such as a fox or raccoon, is a common method of infection in cattle. In Europe, rabies in dogs is a growing concern,in Africa the threats come from Jackals and in Northern Europe, Wolves are a prime vector of the virus. The skunk is the most likely carrier that spreads the disease to domestic animals such as dogs, cats, horses and cattle and those species then will show the clinical signs of rabies. The rabies virus is spread through the saliva of a positive animal, and when bitten by a positive animal is the primary way the virus is spread. However, other methods of spreading the disease are saliva from a positive animal getting into an open wound, or saliva from a positive animal getting into a mucus membrane – the eyes, gums or lips – of another animal or human.The time between infection and the onset of clinical signs varies. It can range from as early as a few weeks to as late as a few months after infection. Infected animals will start to carry the virus in their saliva before they start to show clinical signs, and this is why the rabies virus is different than most other viruses, because it does not enter the bloodstream but rather, the rabies virus travels through the nerves from the point of infection. If an animal is bitten on its back leg, the rabies virus will travel through the nerves of the back leg to the spinal cord, and then from the spinal cord, it will go to the brain and When this happens the clinical signs become obvious. An animal that is bitten on the nose, as it is believed most cattle are, will start showing clinical signs earlier than an animal bitten on the back leg. This is because the virus has less distance to travel to the brain and this accounts for the time variation between being infected and showing clinical signs.Once an animal shows clinical signs, typically within four to five days that animal will get progressively worse and die. There are effective rabies vaccinations available for humans, dogs, cats, horses and cattle. Veterinarians recommends that producers who show cattle consider vaccinating those cattle for rabies. If those show animals contract rabies, there is more of a chance of exposure to humans.While it isn’t always practical to vaccinate the whole cow herd, vaccination in prevalent areas are encouraged.


The porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus has been observed to survive in feed ingredients,this was demonstrated by some researchers who demonstrated this using a model as a point of study. The scientists used a model simulating shipment from China to the United States, as reported in BMC Veterinary Research. This is proof of concept suggesting that contaminated feed ingredients could serve as transboundary risk factors for PEDv, along with the identification of effective mitigation options. The scientists stated that this study describes a model developed to evaluate the transboundary risk of PEDv-contaminated swine feed ingredients and the effect of two mitigation strategies during a simulated transport event from China to the US. They stated that Ingredients imported to the USA from China, including organic & conventional soybeans and meal, lysine hydrochloride, D-L methionine, tryptophan, Vitamins A, D & E, choline, carriers (rice hulls, corn cobs) and feed grade tetracycline, were inoculated with PEDv. The control ingredients, and treatments (ingredients plus a liquid antimicrobial (SalCurb, Kemin Industries) or a 2% custom medium chain fatty acid blend) were tested. The model ran for 37 days, simulating transport of cargo from Beijing, China to Des Moines, IA, US from 23 December 2012 to 28 January 2013. To mimic conditions on land and sea, historical temperature and percent relative humidity (% RH) data were programmed into an environmental chamber which stored all containers. To evaluate PEDv viability over time, ingredients were organised into 1 of 4 batches of samples, each batch representing a specific segment of transport. Across control (non-treated) ingredients, viable PEDv was detected in soybean meal (organic and conventional), Vitamin D, lysine hydrochloride and choline chloride. In contrast, viable PEDv was not detected in any samples treated with the liquid antimicrobial or the medium chain fatty acid blend. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) pointed out that PEDv might have entered the United States in May 2013 by ways of tote bags. The new research shows a different way of transmission, but it's not proven which road the infection took in 2013. What it does show is that there appears to be a risk related to some long-distance feed trade. Ex


Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) is devastating in herds especially in Asia and North America although the recent outbreaks of PEDv-like strains in Europe appear less destructive. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is an economically important enteric disease in pigs caused by a Corona virus. Corona viruses can be divided into the genera Alpha corona virus, Beta corona virus, Gammacoronavirus and Deltacoronavirus. The Alpha corona viruses including Transmissible Gastroenteritis virus (TGEv), Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus (PRCv) and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus (PEDv) are the most important in swine. While TGEv and PRCv belong to the Alpha corona virus 1 species, PEDv belongs to a separate species within the same genus. The Beta corona viruses induce severe diseases in humans like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-Cov), the Beta corona virus affecting pigs called Hemagglutinating Encephalomyelitis virus (HEv) is of minor importance for the swine industry. The Delta corona virus infections (porcine Delta corona virus, PDCov) were reported in pigs in Asia and North America which caused enteric diseases similar to PEDv but of lower clinical impact and disease severity. PED first appeared as acute diarrhoea in finishing pigs in the early 1970s in the UK and subsequently spread fast across Europe causing acute outbreaks of diarrhoea in pigs of all age groups. The routes of PEDv transmission between different areas, countries and even continents remain poorly understood. The origin of recently identified PEDv strains in Europe showing high nucleotide similarity to US S-INDEL PEDv strains remains unclear. It is not known if those strains have been circulating in the European pig population for a long time or if they were recently introduced into Europe. The various methods to applied so far to control PED virus on farms, include the following 1) Increasing sow immunity can be achieved by giving feedback. This usually involves feeding intestines or diarrheic faces from acutely infected piglets to sows to convey immunity. Different protocols are followed; no additives should be added. 2) Weaning down is also a much applied strategy – this means weaning at about ten days of age. 3)Improving biosecurity. 4)Applying strict disinfection, e.g. using Synergize, Virkon S. 5)Vaccinating. There are two inactivated vaccines available. The best success is usually achieved in pre-infected herds.


Yes!! a new research has shown that you are what your parents ate.Scientists have shown that diet-induced obesity and diabetes can be epigenetically inherited by the offspring through both the eggs and the sperm. The studies by the team of the Institute of Experimental Genetics (IEG) used mice that had become obese and had developed type 2 diabetes due to a high-fat diet. Their offspring were obtained solely through in vitro fertilization (IVF) from isolated oocytes and sperm, so that changes in the offspring could only be passed on through these cells. The offspring were carried and born by healthy surrogate mothers. This enabled the researchers to rule out additional factors such as the behavior of the parents and influences of the mother during pregnancy and lactation. The results showed that both eggs and sperm passed on epigenetic information, which particularly in the female offspring led to severe obesity. In the male offspring, by contrast, the blood glucose level was more affected than in the female siblings. The data also show that,like in humans the maternal contribution to the change in metabolism in the offspring is greater than the paternal contribution. This kind of epigenetic inheritance of a metabolic disorder due to an unhealthy diet could be another major cause for the dramatic global increase in the prevalence of diabetes .The increase in diabetic patients observed throughout the world can hardly be explained by mutations in the genes themselves (DNA) because the increase has been rapid. Epigenetic inheritance as opposed to genetic inheritance is in principle reversible, new possibilities to influence the development of obesity and diabetes arise from these observations, according to the scientists. Charles Darwin stated that characteristics and traits that parents acquire during their lifetime through interaction with the environment could be passed on to their offspring referred to as epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to the inheritance of traits that are not determined in the primary sequence of the DNA (the genes) and RNA transcripts and chemical modifications of the chromatin (e.g. on the DNA or the histones) have been considered as carriers of this epigenetic information. This study shows is important because it proves for the first time that an acquired metabolic disorder can be passed on epigenetically to the offspring through eggs and sperm as Darwin stated.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


A recent study by scientists at the universities of Nottingham, Aberdeen (UK) and Paris-Saclay (France), The James Hutton Institute (Aberdeen) and UMR BDR, INRA, Jouy en Josas (Paris, France) and published in the journal Scientific Reports, has shown striking effects of exposure of pregnant ewes and their female lambs in the womb to a cocktail of chemical contaminants present in pastures fertilized with human sewage sludge-derived fertilizer. Eating meat from animals grazed on land treated with commonly-used agricultural fertilizers might have serious implications for pregnant women and the future reproductive health of their unborn children. The study highlights potential risks associated with the common practice of grazing livestock on pastures on which human sewage sludge-derived fertilizer has been used. While low-level chemical exposure poses a threat to human reproductive development but the consumption of products from animals grazing such pastures proves to be a considerable environmental concern. The research group investigated development of ovaries in the fetal sheep, which is very similar to ovary development in humans. The pregnant sheep was exposed to sewage sludge-derived fertilizer to simulate 'real-life' exposure. Since the number of eggs present in the ovary at birth is determined while still in the womb, the research shows that the implications of disrupted ovary development could be significant. It suggests that chemicals that interfere with this development process, particularly those that mimic sex steroids, may have long-lasting effects on adult female fertility. The researchers report that the number of eggs in the fetus' ovary was reduced even if the period of exposure was limited to 80 days corresponding to early, mid or late gestation. However, a period of mid or late gestation exposure had a greater effect on the development of the fetus and the number of altered genes and proteins in the fetus' ovary. The biggest effects on the fetal ovary were seen when the sheep were switched to sewage sludge fertilized fields in the last two to three months of pregnancy. This suggests that changing exposures to chemical mixtures may be worse than always being exposed to these mixtures. The role of the environment is spread of diseases and impact on health status can not be ignored ,hence steps to reduce contamination of sewage sludge-derived fertilizer are important and proper sanitation protocols must be enforced.


Dairy cows when properly nurtured and managed produce at optimum rate providing enough milk for processing. The output from the cows depends largely on breed, nutrition and management .The milk derived is processed into various products such as flavored milk, yoghurt,fresh milk and cheese. The yoghurt requires the following equipment; 1) heating system 2)bucket 3) thermometer.4) preservative.5) flavor 6) starter culture. Method; The starter culture is prepared in bulk in a milk medium,then milk is pasteurized. The pasteurization is to kill the pathogens that might be present,and this is done by heating to 72C and then the mixture is cooled to 35-48C. Add the starter culture to the mix and cover for 8 hours, after which the mixture is stirred properly. The preservative, sugar and fruit flavor/fruit are added and the products can be filled in containers ready for the market. # startup # yoghurt # fresh milk # nutrition.