Wednesday, June 29, 2016
A new facility that captures methane gas to generate renewable electricity will be built in North Carolina Duke Energy, a sustainable electric and gas company that serves 7.3 million customers in the midwestern and southeastern United States, plans to purchase swine and poultry waste output from a facility planned for North Carolina – using the captured methane gas to generate renewable electricity at four power stations. Carbon Cycle Energy will build and own the facility, which is to be located in eastern North Carolina, although the exact location of the facility has not yet been announced. "It is encouraging to see the technological advances that allow waste-to-energy projects in North Carolina to be done in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner for our customers," said David Fountain, Duke Energy president -North Carolina. Under North Carolina's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS), Duke Energy companies must meet specific compliance targets for swine and poultry waste. Duke Energy is already buying electricity generated from other facilities in the state. "We are pleased to partner with Carbon Cycle Energy to help meet our compliance objectives," added Fountain. "The gas from this project will generate carbon neutral electricity compared to the emissions that would result if the waste was left to decay naturally." Expanding the utility's renewable energy output, the captured methane will be treated, injected into the pipeline system and used at four Duke Energy plants in North Carolina. Under a 15-year term, Carbon Cycle Energy is expected to produce more than 1 million MMBtus of pipeline-quality captured methane a year. Duke Energy should yield about 125,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy a year – enough to power about 10,000 homes for a year. The renewable energy credits (RECs) generated annually by the effort will help satisfy state mandates. contributed by wattagnet.
Researchers at University of Concepción use waste to produce biochar and thermal energy Researchers at the University of Concepción are using the solid waste from poultry and pigs in the region of Bío Bío in central Chile to produce biochar and thermal energy. Professor Cristina Muñoz and Cristina Segura are exploring the technical and economic issues of using strong heat – pyrolysis – to recovering the energy locked up in organic waste from poultry and pig farms to produce biochar and energy. The process appears to be a green option for the treatment of materials that would otherwise have the potential to add to greenhouse gas emissions or groundwater pollution. Segura explained that large quantities of organic waste – slurry, manure, bedding materials, feathers and spilt feed – are produced by the region’s poultry and pig farms. The pyrolytic process results in a carbon material known as biochar and thermal energy in a safe, environmentally friendly and cost-effective way, say the researchers. Due to be completed in October this year, the project is funded by the Regional Government of Bío Bío. Muñoz explained that the first aim of the project has been achieved, namely to obtain a homogeneous and marketable material. Now, the biochar is being evaluated by the University as a soil improver for a wide range of horticultural applications. contributed by wattagnet.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Scientists have discovered a large helium gas field in Tanzania. With world supplies running out, the find is a "game-changer", say geologists at Durham and Oxford universities. Helium is used in hospitals in MRI scanners as well as in spacecraft, telescopes and radiation monitors. The precious gas has been discovered only in small quantities during oil and gas drilling.Using a new exploration approach, researchers found large quantities of helium within the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley. They say resources in just one part of the Rift valley are enough to fill more than a million medical MRI scanners. Prof Chris Ballentine, of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, said: "This is a game-changer for the future security of society's helium needs and similar finds in the future may not be far away."Dr Pete Barry added: 'We can apply this same strategy to other parts of the world with a similar geological history to find new helium resources. Helium is formed by the slow and steady radioactive decay of terrestrial rock. However, global supplies are running low, with warnings that supplies cannot be guaranteed in the long term. Prof Jon Gluyas, of the Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University, who collaborated on the project, said the price of helium had gone up 500% in the last 15 years. "Helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe but it's exceedingly rare on Earth," Prof Gluyas told BBC News. "Moreover, any helium that you do find if you're not careful, will escape, just like a party balloon it rises and rises in the atmosphere and eventually escapes the Earth's gravity altogether. "It's used in a whole array of key instrumentation, particularly medical MRI scanning and so on, and so we have to keep finding more." The researchers say volcanic activity in the Rift Valley releases helium buried in ancient rocks, which rises up and becomes trapped in shallower gas fields.The amount of helium is estimated at more than 54 billion cubic feet - which could potentially meet global demand for several years. The next step is to find the best place to drill to exploit the gas and bring it to the surface. Helium is used for 1)It is used in the space industry to keep satellite instruments cool, to clean out rocket engines and was used to cool the liquid oxygen and hydrogen that powered the Apollo space vehicles 2) Helium is used as a cooling medium for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and the superconducting magnets in medical MRI scanners 3)Helium is used to fill party balloons, weather balloons and airships because of its low density 4) A mixture of 80% helium and 20% oxygen is used by deep-sea divers and others working under pressurized conditions. 5) Helium-neon gas lasers are used to scan barcodes at supermarket checkouts. contributed by BBC NEWS.
This amazing new 3D printing foam pen that swaps melted plastic for soap bubbles. It seems like the type of thing that you would buy, use once and then think to yourself ‘why on Earth did I buy a pen that 3D prints with soap?’. But I’ll be honest, I’m still really tempted to pick one of these things up. If only because it looks easier to use than a regular 3D printing pen, and I’m a sucker for any gizmo that makes me feel smart when I figure out how to use it quickly. The Awamoko 3D Foam Pen, from Japanese toy manufacturer Shine, is clearly made for children, but considering foam is such a forgiving sculpting medium, it’s kind of perfect for the artistically impaired. The pen uses the same foaming hand soap that you find in public restrooms, so any mess that you make is going to be halfway cleaned up while you’re making it. There is no heating element like with standard 3D printing pens, so it is perfectly safe for anyone to use, even small children. And users don’t have to do anything to make the pen extrude foam, just press the button and the foam starts squirting out at a slow enough pace for you to start building up layers for a large soapy object. The foam pen comes with a ton of accessories so you can actually do some pretty serious foam sculpting. There are two different sized printing nozzles and three stamp extruders that produce three-dimensional foam shapes like a smiley face or a flower. The pen also comes with a sculpting spatula, so if you make any 3D printed soap bubble errors they can easily be fixed. The foam sculptures are meant to be printed on some flat, sponge material that comes with the pen, presumably because it won’t absorb the water or soap as quickly. And if all that you can manage to do with the foam pen is print big, gloopy mounds of soap, don’t worry — you can decorate them with cute faces, ears and various cutesy accessories so they will start to resemble cute animals. It seems that the pen will also include 3D animal shape forms that can be used as a cheat when sculpting animals. Just print the foam around the form, and then add the eyes, ears and tails. Contributed by 3DPRINT.COM
Monday, June 27, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Surviving birth is already an achievement for them, but separating conjoined twins is only possible if they are not sharing vital organs. This was the situation twin girls Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith were facing. Until they were 10 months old, they were conjoined at the chest and abdomen, which included their chest wall, lungs, pericardial sac, diaphragm, liver, intestines, colon and pelvis. Surgeons at the Texas Children’s Hospital started planning the highly-complex separation surgery nearly a year in advance. To visualize the intertwined organs, they used Materialise’s Mimics software to design a 3D-printed model based on high-quality CT scans which were designed to generate optimal contrast within the shared organs and the vasculature. Following computerized segmentation of the anatomy, the color-coded output was subsequently exported for 3D Printing and showed in great detail the babies’ heart, lungs, stomachs and kidneys, and where exactly they were connected. “Having a 3D-printed model gives you an insight into what you’re going to encounter,” Dr. Rajesh Krishnamurthy, chief of radiology research and cardiac imaging at Texas Children’s Hospital, said in a video released by the hospital. “This type of surgical planning becomes very important when you decide to assign an organ to one twin or the other.” The key collaborators in this project were Mr. Nicholas Dodd, an advanced visualization expert at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Jayanthi Parthasarathy of MedCAD in Dallas, who supervised the 3D Printing process. In addition, the surgeons implanted tissue expanders into their torsos, stretching the skin ahead of the separation. The final surgery, which took nearly 30 hours and involved more than 26 clinicians of 13 different specialties, managed to successfully separate the two babies. Contributed by materialise
For 11-year-old Amarachi Austin-Okoh, running, jumping and even walking was a struggle. She suffered from a condition called Blount’s Disease, where the tibia, or shin bone, doesn’t grow properly, causing the legs to develop a bow shape. The disease had progressed so far in Amarachi’s case that even walking caused her great pain, and she explained that “It was very painful and hard, and, then, if people were walking a distance or something, I would start walking slower and slower, because it got harder and harder.” Her family had already noticed the condition when Amarachi was just two years old, but despite having a few corrective surgeries in Nigeria, where the Austin-Okoh family is originally from, her legs continued to worsen. The family approached Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to see if they could make a difference. The doctors at the Limb Lengthening and Regeneration Clinic knew they could help Amarachi if they took a team approach to the problem. By making full use of Mayo Clinic’s 3D Anatomic Modeling Lab, they were able to print out exact models of Amarachi’s leg bones to make crucial decisions prior to surgery. Dr. Todd Milbrandt, the surgeon who operated on Amarachi, was able to use the model to figure out where he would make a cut in the tibia, so that the bones could regrow and align properly. During the operation, he knew what to expect due to the pre-operative planning, and made a cut just below each knee. Dr. Andrew Sems then attached external braces (or “fixators”) to Amarachi’s legs after the operation and carefully adjusted them over the next three months according to computer calculations. By making adjustments to the fixators, Dr. Sems was able to gradually straighten the bones – basically by growing and correcting the bones at the same time. The outcome was everything Amarachi and her family could have hoped for – she gained almost 25cm in height and now walks with straight legs and no pain. She concluded, “I’m excited now, because it has opened a whole new horizon. I can do anything and everything I want to do.” Contributed by materialise
Friday, June 24, 2016
Areas where cattle graze usually harbor venomous snakes which means the chance for snakebite is ever-present. The after-effects in a snake-bitten cow, horse or dog knows can be fatal unless urgent steps are taken to prevent the effect of the toxic venom . Rattlesnake venom contains two types of toxins—myotoxins and hemotoxins—according to Ginger Elliott, a veterinarian from Guthrie, Texas, who has seen many snake-bitten animals. The myotoxins create rapid swelling, pain and bleeding at the bite site and muscle necrosis, while the hemotoxins damage blood vessels, destroying red blood cells and hindering blood clotting. The damage is often relative to the size of the animal. Small rodents are immobilized by the toxins and die quickly, enabling the snake to eat them. The toxins (and amounts of each) can differ in various bites, and have different effects on the body. “Some rattlesnake venom contains more muscle toxins. Sometimes we see more swelling and lymph issues and more spread of the toxin systemically. Our western diamondbacks have venom containing mostly myotoxins,” explains Elliott. “As a general rule, the prairie rattler has more hemotoxins and we see some swelling but perhaps less tissue destruction. When toxins enter the bloodstream and lymph tissues, they can spread systemically. But many types of venom have several toxic components and consequently there are some unusual cases,” she says. The higher up the leg, such as near armpit or groin, the worse it might be, says Jacques Fuselier, a veterinarian with the Whittington Veterinary Clinic, Abbeville, La. “The toxins can get into the bloodstream quicker. We worry about that with some bites, because there’s more risk for anaphylactic shock. The toxins may rupture red blood cells, which could lead to organ failure, starting with the kidneys,” he says. Try to keep the toxin isolated and minimize its spread this can be achieved if you can get the animal into a pen where it won’t be moving around. Decreasing activity can slow down spread of the toxin, just from decrease in blood flow. A big dose of rattlesnake venom presents risk of it getting systemic and causing organ failure after it gets into the bloodstream. Every animal responds differently to the toxins. The toxin is a foreign protein, so some individuals will have an allergic-type reaction. In some animals, the toxins spread rapidly within the body, and in others they won’t. It’s not common to have two cases that are identical. The toxins don’t have as much negative long-term effects on large animals like adult cattle but could have more serious consequences for a small animal or young calf, according to Rob Callan, head of livestock veterinary services at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University. The toxins can sometimes be more problem for horses, affecting the heart. Toxins may cause irregular rhythm, or damage the heart which can be fatal although this has not been reported in cattle. Tissue damage at the bite site may be severe enough to result in necrotic areas that slough away. “I don’t know why some bites have a tremendous amount of necrosis and others do not,” says Glennon Mays, a veterinarian with Texas A&M University. “I’ve read that all snakebites do not necessarily inject venom. In some cases maybe the snake is striking defensively, saying ‘leave me alone,’ and saving venom for killing prey,” he says. There is also the possibility that some bites might contain less venom if the snake had recently bitten and killed prey, temporarily depleting its venom supply. Then there’s the possibility that it’s not snakebite at all. Mays says that often a suspected snakebite turns out to be something else. Swelling on a lower leg, for instance, is more often due to foot rot or another infection rather than snakebite. Animal owners over the years have asked me to look at lumps on jaws, faces, necks and other body parts, swollen legs and feet, believing their animal has suffered snakebite. Snakebite wounds have a fairly typical appearance and often some bleeding. Signs vary, depending on the length of time transpired since the bite occurred, the environmental temperature, the amount [dose] of venom and other factors that might affect the appearance of the affected area,” he says. “Often a swelling that the owner is worried about turns out to be an abscess or seroma [collection of fluid] or reaction of body tissue, rather than snakebite. This is why it’s important to have a proper diagnosis and involve your veterinarian. “Most bites [in cattle] are on the lower legs, unless it’s a curious individual that approaches the snake to smell it. Contributed by Beef magazine.
Herbie, a French Bulldog puppy believed to have excess fluid on the brain, is learning to walk and stand on his own at a therapy center. Herbie, a French Bulldog puppy, may be just a few weeks old, but he's already shown he has a big, fighting heart. When Herbie was dropped off at the house of a woman who fosters dogs, he couldn't walk or stand. Handlers suspected Herbie has hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, a condition that often ends in euthanasia for dogs. In Herbie's case, it made his foster mom and rescue group, Road Dogs & Rescue, work harder to help the puppy. The rescue group brought Herbie to Two Hands Four Paws, a large canine rehabilitation center in Los Angeles. Staff there say his progress has been exciting to watch. They fitted him with a tiny wheelchair, and are teaching him how to walk. Staff say Herbie is getting stronger everyday. A neurologist who treated Herbie said when he's 6-months-old, he'll be eligible to have surgery to drain some of the excess fluid on his brain, possibly giving him the happy, healthy life of many dogs. Contributed by USA TODAY.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
3D Life is certainly aptly named. This Greek startup isn’t promoting a fun new lifestyle or arts and crafts in the 3D printing industry—they are involved in the serious business of helping to save lives. Recognizing the value that 3D printing has in the medical arena, the team at 3D Life is committed to making 3D printed models for medical professionals to use, with numerous benefits for all involved. Currently, the Athens-headquartered company makes high-quality, detailed models of the anatomy like teeth, hands, and bones, as well as organs like the heart, liver, brain, and more. 3D Life is encouraging the more comprehensive study of anatomy, mainly in terms of organs. They believe that even better knowledge of organs allows for better preparation for surgeries that are often solving complex physical issues—and the team uses congenital heart disease as a perfect example. “As a result, the doctors can better plan reparative operations based on conventional medical imaging which is suboptimal,” Bilalis told 3DPrint.com. “The human mind can only partially understand trying to create mental images of three dimensional structures so we believe that having this ability will make operations shorter and more efficient, and provide better results.” At 3D Life they believe, and undoubtedly are correct, that the exercise of holding and manipulating a 3D model leads to a better understanding of the client’s condition, as well as allowing for practicing for surgeries that are intricate and may not even have been performed before. This leads to numerous positives, from safety to better client outcomes, along with providing training for students. While there may be other companies around the world making 3D models, 3D Life is unique as the first company to endeavor in such a field in Greece. Offering advanced 3D printing, they are able to make models in a variety of materials and, even better, multiple colors. They are able to offer excellent services to all the professionals who come to them. 3D Life uses Materialise Mimics software, made specifically for medical image processions. This enables the conversion of MRIs or CTs into 3D models, which can then be used in numerous ways. These devices avail, medical professionals and surgeons to find themselves with a much better way to educate patients and their families about medical conditions, handle diagnoses and treatments, and explain procedures. Surgeons can then spend a lot of time themselves with those medical models, considering and practicing for upcoming operations—as well as using the models in the operating room to navigate through surgeries, saving time and allowing for better outcomes with less surprises. In some cases around the world, 3D libraries are being made as these models begin to pile up, and can be of use to other medical personnel. Contributed by 3D Print
The advent of the 3D printed medical model, many patients and their families now are afforded a look at exactly what’s going on, thanks to completely patient-specific models made from MRI or CT data. In Linda Green’s case, not only did the 3D printed model show her the stubborn tumor lodged inside her kidney, but it may be the reason she is alive today, with the tumor that was sneakily tucked underneath her ribs now a thing of the past The 3D model is not of course just a wonderful educational tool for a patient like Green but it can serve as an invaluable guide for surgeons like Dr. Jay Bishoff. This technology and these incredibly customized visual aids previously not available to doctors, treatments can be decided on with more facts and information in front of them, literally, and procedures that have not been tried before are now possible. Not only that, doctors can train on these aids as well, a new quotient in the treatment process which doesn’t leave surgeons or medical students having to be resourceful for training devices, or spending any more time than possible practicing on cadavers. “We could not appreciate the peak of the tumor that was growing up into the drainage system of the kidney until we did the 3D reconstruction and 3D printing,” Dr. Bishoff said. For Green’s impending treatment and surgery at Intermountain Medical Center, Dr. Bishoff had a clear model made of the kidney and tumor. This allows for surgeons to have a comprehensive view and to avoid the major mistake of removing something vital during the surgery. With the intricate and transparent model, however, Dr. Bishoff was able to remove the tumor without issue, leaving all vital parts intact. He used multiple 3D prints as guides to navigate through the operation, something numerous surgeons are doing today if they have access to the extremely helpful technology. “I could’ve ended up with infection across my outer body or bleeding out,” Green said, definitely understanding the gravity of the procedure. “When the surgery was over and he came out to talk to me, I really thought he was going to tell me that he had to take the kidney out,” Green’s husband said. In a wonderful success story, Green is happy back at her home in Utah, cancer free, and her kidney is completely intact and functioning. The doctors have said that she won’t suffer any damage to the kidney or run the risk of failure. Contributed by 3D print
Bentley Yoder was never expected to survive. His mother, Sierra Yoder of Sugarcreek, Ohio, was well aware, when she went into labor on Halloween night 2015, that she would likely only get to hold her son for a few minutes before he passed away. She had known since the 22nd week of her pregnancy, when she went in for her normal ultrasound, and the doctor told her that something was very, very wrong. Something was wrong with the baby’s head, he told Sierra and her husband, Dustin, and sent them to a hospital for further tests. Neurosurgeons at the Canton hospital told the couple that their baby had a rare congenital condition called encephalocele, meaning that a portion of his brain was growing outside of his skull. About 375 babies, or one in 10,000, are born with the condition each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and while there are varying degrees of severity, the disease, needless to say, causes serious difficulties for children suffering from it: developmental delays, vision problems, seizures, and more. Bentley’s case fell into the severe category, meaning that he had a very slim chance of surviving long after his birth. Even if he did live, doctors said, he wouldn’t have any cognitive function. The Yoders were encouraged to think about abortion, and they agreed to terminate the pregnancy, not wanting their child to suffer when there was no hope of recovery. The night before the scheduled procedure, however, Sierra realized she couldn’t go through with it. She and Dustin agreed on a name for the baby – Bentley Ross Yoder – and doctors gave them brochures for funeral homes in the area. Nine hours after she went into labor on Halloween night, Bentley was born. His condition was immediately clear from the massive protrusion at the back of his head, but to his parents, he was perfect 36 hours later, however, family members were still holding the baby and passing him around. The doctors, unsure of how much longer Bentley would live, told his parents to take him home and arrange hospice care, which they did. Four weeks later, they took him to a specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. The specialist took some MRIs and told the Yoders that Bentley’s brain was too damaged for him to survive much longer. Four months later, the couple took Bentley to the Cleveland Clinic. For the first time, a surgeon gave them a sliver of hope – Bentley was using his brain, which had been already clear to Sierra and Dustin. Their baby, who doctors had said was going to be born a “shell,” unlikely to ever move or even breathe, was acting just like a normal baby – indistinguishable from their first son, Beau, other than the protrusion on his head, according to Sierra. The surgeon told them it was possible that Bentley’s brain could be placed inside his skull, though she didn’t know if he could survive the surgery.. The Yoders were referred to Boston Children’s Hospital, where they met with chief plastic surgeon Dr. John Meara and neurosurgeon Dr. Mark Proctor, who had plenty of experience with cranial deformities – and with 3D printing. The two surgeons were part of a team that reshaped the skull of a baby named Violet in 2014, in a surgery that was carefully pre-planned using 3D printed models. Drs. Meara and Proctor took the same approach with Bentley’s case, 3D printing models of his cranium and planning the delicate procedure that would allow his brain to be encased within his skull. According to Dr. Meara, Bentley had 100 cubic centimeters of brain outside of his skull – a significant amount that would require his cranium to be expanded for the tissue to fit inside. Using the 3D printed models, he and Dr. Proctor devised a plan to make several vertical slices in the cranium and insert biocompatible, dissolving plates to hold it open. The protruding part of Bentley’s brain – the portion that controls vision, motor function and problem-solving, would slip inside where it belonged. yoder On May 24, 2016, Bentley went into surgery. The surgeons drained excess cerebrospinal fluid from his brain, made the cuts in his cranium, and gently eased his brain inside. Then they closed the gap using leftover bone from the cuts. Five hours later, Sierra, Dustin and Bentley’s brother Beau went to see him in the recovery room. The delicate mass at the back of his head was gone, and now, a month later, his blond curls are growing back in. He’s also holding his head up, eating, smiling and chattering like any seven-month-old. It’s uncertain what life will be like for him as he grows up, but he will grow up, and the doctors told Sierra that they believe he will have a “rewarding life,” despite any challenges or complications may arise. Using 3D printing to successfully operate on a condition as severe as Bentley’s is a new phenomenon, and therefore lacks precedence to give doctors a clear idea of what lies ahead. Bentley himself has made it clear that he is a survivor, however, and Sierra said that a part of her always knew that Bentley was going to defy expectations. That’s why she decided not to end the pregnancy. Contributed by 3Dprint
The world’s top thoroughbreds and jockeys compete across multiple races for a prize pot that this year totals more than £6.5 million. It’s a dangerous sport, however. More than 150 of the UK’s 14,000 or so racehorses are killed each year and thousands more are injured. In the US, around 500 are killed a year. A wearable device that monitors a horse’s physical well-being during a race could help. Major horse-racing events attract animal-rights campaigners. TV presenter and conservationist Anneka Svenska attended this year’s Royal Ascot wearing the largest hat in the event’s history. Streamers of red roses cascaded to the ground to signify horses’ deaths at the races. Many of these deaths are due to over-exertion during a race or fractures that result in a horse being put down. The new device, called the Equimètre and developed by start-up Arioneo in Paris, France, is designed to reduce the number of fatalities and prevent injury as well as help trainers to hone a horse’s performance. The Equimètre’s sensor fits into the girth – a strap around a horse’s middle that keeps the saddle on. This records physiological data such as temperature and heart and respiratory rate – plus information about the animal’s movement such as acceleration and speed. The device also monitors environmental conditions, such as humidity. A trainer can view the data in real time via an app. There are existing smart devices for racehorses that capture this kind of data. But the Equimètre then runs the stats through algorithms that compare them with past performances. “A trainer’s eye is very important and we do not want to replace their expertise,” says Arioneo co-founder Valentin Rapin, “but this tool will give trainers information they don’t have today.” Rather than just showing an increase in heart rate, for example, the device can put this into context and tell the trainer what it means for that particular horse in those particular conditions. “It can prevent overtraining,” says Rapin. Rapin thinks the device will also help catch injuries such as bucked shins, where the tissue covering the shin bone becomes painfully inflamed. Around 70 per cent of young thoroughbred racehorses suffer from the condition and it can lead to more serious problems, such as stress fractures, which often result in a horse being killed. Rapin and his colleagues plan to launch the Equimètre in early 2017. Hervé Moreau, a horse vet based in La Ferté-Saint-Cyr, France, welcomes the device. “The early detection of locomotion problems can only improve diagnosis,” he says. “Similarly, optimizing the training programme will reduce the risk of stress fractures.” Contributed by the New scientist.
Contraceptive implants have made the jump from women to kangaroos. The largest real-world trial yet of hormonal implants in kangaroos has successfully brought numbers down in Victoria, removing the need to cull them through shooting. Australia currently has twice as many kangaroos as people. When numbers of wild kangaroos are locally high, the relationship between people and kangaroos can become fraught when the animals collide with cars, contaminate water supplies and damage grasslands. To control numbers, and supply the kangaroo meat industry, the Australian government approves the culling of more than 5 million wild kangaroos a year. But there is increasing opposition to this from animal welfare groups. To see if contraception could be an effective alternative, Michelle Wilson of the University of Melbourne is leading the largest real-world trial yet of hormonal implants in kangaroos. In 2013, Wilson inserted levonorgestrel (Norplant) implants – which are used by women – underneath the shoulder blades of three-quarters of the female kangaroos living in a 200 hectare area of the Western Plains of Victoria in south-eastern Australia. “There were too many kangaroos so there wasn’t enough food and they were starving and emaciated,” says Wilson. “There was also a lot of roadkill surrounding the site and a high prevalence of disease.” A follow-up study, which has not yet been published, has found that of the 75 females that were implanted, only one has become pregnant since, and the reproductive rate of that area’s population is now about a third of what is was in 2012. The strategy has been highly successful, says Phil Pegler of Parks Victoria. “It’s prevented the need for us to go back and do any more shooting.” The contraceptive method isn’t cheap. An implant plus labor, tranquilizer and anesthetic comes to around $A 250 (£130) per animal. Fertility is suppressed for about six years. Nevertheless, contraception is better long-term than shooting, says Wilson. “The problem with culling is that the population bounces back afterwards so then you have to cull again.” A real concern is the potential for side effects, because contraceptive hormonal implants, including Norplant, Implanon and Nexplanon, are known to cause mood changes, loss of sex drive, headaches, and other problems in some women. A study in female macaques found that Implanon was associated with signs of anxiety, such as higher rates of self-scratching. But Wilson says she has not observed any negative effects on health in the current trial, nor in a smaller eight-year study in kangaroos in Anglesea, Victoria. Even if contraception carries some side effects, it is still more humane than other wildlife control methods, Kangaroo contraception is starting to gain momentum elsewhere in Australia, says Wilson. A golf course in New South Wales has also begun using hormonal implants to control the local kangaroo population. Contributed by New scientist.
In a small, windowless room, four veterinarians simultaneously tie sutures, biopsy a liver, and perform minimally invasive abdominal surgery. No, this is not a typical operating room. It is a veterinary laparoscopic training laboratory—the first of its kind in the nation. Nearly four years ago, Dr. Boel Fransson, a board-certified small animal surgeon, designed what is now the Veterinary Applied Laparoscopic Training (VALT) laboratory at Washington State University. Although laparoscopic simulation training has been widely used in human medicine for more than a decade, similar training had not been available in animal medicine. A laparoscope is essentially a telescope used by surgeons to see inside body cavities while doing minimally invasive surgery through tiny incisions, often called keyholes. “Our laboratory is the first in the country to develop veterinary simulation training in laparoscopic surgery,” said Dr. Boel Fransson, director of the VALT laboratory. “I was very interested in technique development for the additional skills required for the minimally invasive surgeries we perform in clinical practice here at WSU.” Laparoscopic surgery is being used more often in veterinary medicine because of the same advantages to patients as seen in humans. Risks associated with traditional open surgery are minimized, pain is reduced and easier to control, and patients often recover much more quickly. It is also a valuable tool that allows veterinarians to run diagnostic tests they may not otherwise be able to perform. Although the American College of Veterinary Surgeons requires training in minimally invasive surgical techniques, there was no other learning platform for surgeons in training except to participate in actual surgeries with a mentoring surgeon. Dr. Fransson and her colleague, Dr. Claude Ragle, a WSU board-certified equine surgeon and pioneer in equine laparoscopy, believe additional training outside the operating room is necessary to achieve higher competency levels. More training also means less risk to the patients Proper training in laparoscopic surgery can be simpler and safer than other surgical techniques. Training in the VALT lab, surgeons become accustomed to using actual surgical tools in small spaces while watching the magnified procedures on a television screen. Practicing the precise movements of laparoscopic surgery also helps the techniques to become second nature. Additional training minimizes unnecessary movements, surgery time, and increases accuracy. The VALT lab began training veterinarians in 2008 with very basic equipment, such as a box trainer that uses real instruments to teach hand-eye coordination necessary for routine procedures such as suturing. Dr. Fransson later added canine abdomen models that train surgeons in the feel and size of the abdominal cavity and organs. The virtual reality, or VR, trainer was added to the lab earlier this year. After working on the VR trainer, surgeons receive printouts to learn how their techniques can be more efficient and safe. The software tracks the surgeon’s performance and provides an assessment of the surgeon’s skills. learn more @ please visit vcs.vetmed.wsu.edu/Research/VALT-Lab.
Flowering plant extract can meet sports nutrition demand: Growing demand for nitrate in sports nutrition products is being met by a new ingredient extracted from the flowering plant Amaranthus.
Egg powder is your delicious choice when you need to prepare an egg recipe fast .The powder contains all the nutrients eggs offer plus one extra factor,its handy. This is how to use the powder You can serve with any food you desire. Why should you use egg powder; 1) ease of use. 2) handy 3)convenient 4) affordable 5) readily available.
Saturday, June 18, 2016
Edetate Calcium Disodium, also known as Calcium EDTA, is a chelating agent used by veterinarians to treat lead poisoning in dogs and cats. It is used to treat other types of heavy metal toxicity in animals . Animals can get lead poisoning just as humans by ingesting a large amount of lead-containing materials. Pets and other animals get lead from paint, plumbing materials, linoleum tiles, lead foil, solder, golf balls, drinking water from lead pipes, lead weights, newspaper, certain dyes, insulation and a host of other lead-containing products and materials. Lead poisoning can cause an animal to experience both neurological and gastrointestinal complications. Common neurological signs include seizures, blindness, running aimlessly, running in circles, ataxia and behavioral changes. Gastrointestinal problems can include abdominal pain, vomiting, lack of appetite and either constipation or diarrhea. - Ingestion of lead and other heavy metals displaces calcium in the body. Therefore, many veterinarians use chelation therapy to aid in eliminating the lead or heavy metals while increasing calcium levels throughout the body. Prior to the administration of Calcium EDTA therapy, the animal’s blood lead concentration levels will be tested and then monitored throughout the therapy until the lead level in the blood is normal. Calcium EDTA is administered subcutaneously and only in a veterinary office or animal hospital setting where blood monitoring can be conducted.Calcium EDTA should not be administered to an animal with a pre-existing kidney condition. In some cases, a second round of Calcium EDTA is required if the first therapy isn’t fully successful. If your pet experiences vomiting or diarrhea while undergoing Calcium EDTA therapy, the veterinarian may prescribe a zinc supplement because this medication chelates zinc in addition to lead. Contributed by :Giano Panzarella for diamondbackdrugs.
Compiling data from hundreds of studies on past zoonotic disease outbreaks, Barbara Han, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, and her colleagues have mapped where current reservoirs are most likely to be found. The goal was to be able to predict where future pathogenic leaps from mammals to humans are likely to occur. “What we really want to do is shift the strategy from one of being defensive—always running around putting out fires—to one that’s preemptive,” Han told The Washington Post. “One step toward that goal is to figure out where things are, what’s carrying the known diseases and what’s their distribution.” But the results, published today (June 14) in Trends in Parasitology, are only a piece of the puzzle, she added. “It’s a hard game to play because there’s hundreds and hundreds of combinations of different zoonoses and carriers. We’d hoped to find a unifying theme, and instead there’s just 45 more questions that need to be answered.” Zoonotic diseases are not, for example, concentrated in tropical environments, as might be predicted. In fact, the subarctic—Alaska, northern Canada, and northern Russia—had the same number of zoonoses as the tropics, despite being home to fewer reservoir species. “Even though there are more species in the tropics, fewer of them carry zoonoses,” Han said in a press release. “In contrast, more of the species living in northern latitudes, such as the Arctic Circle, carry more zoonoses. Understanding the implications of this pattern in light of climate warming trends will be an important line of inquiry that should be addressed sooner rather than later.” Other hot spots included Europe—consistent with previous zoonotic mapping efforts—as well as Southeast Asia. Han and colleagues also turned up surprises when assessing which types of animal hosts harbor the most zoonotic pathogens. Rodents, for example, carried about the same number as carnivores, despite having nearly 10 times as many species. “I’m hoping to work together with people who really understand public health to think about the wildlife human interface, and the cultural things that permit or prevent that from happening,” Han told The Washington Post. “This is a multifaceted question and very complex . . . and the devil’s in the details.” Contributed by the scientist.
Eggs could be used as a whole or in parts. Eggs can be separated using egg yolk separator, into egg yolk and egg white. This can be processed further into egg yolk or egg white powder. The intent of use will determine the product you go for. The egg can be used as a whole in the salon as hair treatment and booster. The hair is washed and parted, then properly mixed whole egg is applied to hair.The hair is then packed in steam cap and the person puts hair in steamer for 45 minutes after which its rinsed off. The benefit of this include 1) growth 2)hair treatment 3)hair food 4) glossy hair. The egg white is a good treatment for pimples and stretch marks. Apply egg white to a clean face and leave it for 10 minutes after which you wash off. The application of the egg white on areas with stretch marks,follows same principle. Apply the egg white to desired spots,leave for 10 minutes and rinse off. The regular treatment of face with egg white gives a clean and clear face devoid of blemish. The egg yolk is also a good base for body cream giving a clear completion.
The level of education in developing countries has nose-dived and data gathered showed that fewer children are going to school. This trend is fueled by the fact that many of the parents are indigent and need all the help they can get from their children and other family members on the farm. Communities with higher percentage of children in school were encouraged by the school feeding programme. These communities are beneficiaries of a system that provides a meal a day for students in school,this not only increased the number of students in school but also more healthy children who were hitherto malnourished. This scheme also empowered more women as these host communities engage the women to prepare the nutritious meals and distribute to schools.This scheme not only benefited the children alone but the community as a whole because of the level of education and economic power. The scheme mainly use poultry and poultry products to feed the students.The meal is often accompanied by eggs or chicken as protein source.The school feeding programme has expanded its reach to more countries and engaging more people. The school feeding programme has also raised the bar by encouraging host communities to venture into agriculture to rear chicken and plant vegetables . This will be a rallying point for the community that will engage more people and feed more. The feeding programme could also make use of powdered eggs to achieve same results.In communities where the need is severe as in emergency situations such as after an earthquake or flooding.The egg powder is safe,handy and hygienically packed to deliver wholesome nutritious meals. The egg powder can be sent to various locations,over long distances and it will still be fresh. The whole egg powder can be mixed with water or milk before frying.This can be combined with rice,potatoes or yam. In situations where children dont like vegetables,you can spice up the vegetables with the egg powder mixture for a more nutritious meal thats easily acceptable. Order for yours today.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Eggs are very nutritious and vital for growth and development.Eggs contain essential nutrients and vitamins that propels growth and increase in intelligent quotient(I.Q),which is why its essential for growing children. Eggs can be referred to as a power-food because of the immense benefits derived,also called a power pill. Eggs contains 77 calories,6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fat.Eggs are rich in omega-3-fatty acid, vit A,B2,B12,B5,B6,E,D and K. It also contains folate,calcium zinc,phosphorus and selenium.Eggs also contain all the essential amino acids in the right ratio so that our bodies are equipped to utilize them. The egg yolk contains lutein and zeaxanthin which reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration in the aged. Choline is also vital component of egg and its used to build cell membrane ,with the major role of producing signal molecules in the brain. Eggs are essential for brain health because of the role of choline. Eggs can be referred to as a magic pill because of the nutrients it contains,but also because of the magic of presentation and various uses.Eggs are useful in the pharmaceutical industry,beauty industry, creative arts and food and beverage industry. Eggs can be presented in powdered form to extend the shelve-life,make it handy and easy to store. Eggs can be powdered as whole eggs,thats the egg white and yolk together. Eggs can also be separated into egg white and egg yolk and powdered separately. The advantage of this is that different industries use the yolk and egg white separately as a raw material for their products,thus this separation will reduce cost and prevent waste Powdered whole eggs are handy and cost effective.The powdered eggs can be packed easily without the risk of cracks and transported long distances.The whole powdered eggs gives same nutritious value as shelled eggs but more volume than the shelled eggs. The powdered whole eggs can be prepared with water or milk depending on taste and can be used for various dishes. HOW TO USE THE EGG POWDER. 1) Pour the sachet in a clean bowl,the number of sachet will depend on the number of people to eat it. 2) Add water /milk to the powder,depending on preference and dish. 3) Mix until fluffy and fry. 4) Serve as desired. A 10g sachet can serve 2 adult depending on size and desire but a 10g sachet will serve 3 children. If you leave it to stand for a minute after mixing before you fry, it will serve more people. The egg powder is economical as well as easy to prepare and cheap. Call for yours today @ 50 naira/10g sachet.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
One Oklahoma dog underwent emergency surgery after she swallowed Gorilla Glue. Krystal Wilson is thankful her 6-month-old Weimaraner, Lake, is safe after a very close call. Wilson said a family member brought over some Gorilla Glue for a house project last Thursday and left it out, in the dog's reach. The curious puppy found the glue and ate some of it. Wilson said she noticed something was obviously wrong with her dog. "Just a small amount had just swollen up to the size of a turkey leg. It was huge, pretty much took the size of her stomach," Wilson said. Wilson rushed Lake to a local veterinary hospital. "Gorilla Glue means surgery," said Dr. Leonardo Baez with Midtown Vets. Veterinarians worked fast and, within minutes, Lake was in surgery. "So, the glue, once it gets to the stomach, it slowly starts expanding. You can see here, it's the perfect shape of a stomach, so you get a mold," Baez said. The mold was solid as a rock."This thing is seriously hard," Baez said.Baez said Gorilla Glue has a very sweet taste, which is appealing to animals and even children. "Just like any other chemical, do it yourself, just put them up high or in a box where the pets and the kids cannot get to it," Baez said. It is a scary lesson for Wilson and her family. "It's hard not to feel guilty. You feel like you kind of failed. We were very upset that we failed, but you can't prevent everything," Wilson said. Fortunately, Lake is back home. "We're very lucky that she's here with us, back to her crazy self," Wilson said. Baez said Gorilla Glue can be deadly. Luckily, in this case, they got the mold out in time and Lake is having a fast recovery, already wagging her tail again.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
New Zealand's poultry industry is keeping a close eye on emerging technology which could stop male chickens in the egg industry having to be killed. The layer hen industry breeds about three million hens a year and about the same number of male chickens. The wrong breed for eating, these chicks are killed when they are a day old either by gassing or being instantly killed in a machine with a blade. Although the practice meets animal welfare standards, egg producers say they would be keen to embrace new genetic marker technology, which would identify the chick's sex before it hatched "or any sign of consciousness, which some people have some issues with". German scientists have developed a new technique which could be commercially tested as soon as next year. "In-ovo sexing" involves analysing chemical biomarkers to determine the sex of a chick on the ninth day of incubation. Australian scientists are looking at another method involving gene marking and Canadian researchers are also at work on the problem. In the United States this week, the United Egg Producers pledged to stop the mass culling of male chicks by 2020, or as soon as it was "economically feasible," according to animal welfare group Humane League, which sparked the talks. "Male chicks are useless to the egg industry, so industry disposes of these newborns in the most brutal of ways," Humane League's Aaron Ross said. In Australia, where six million male chicks are culled each year, caged-egg farmer Bede Burke in Tamworth said the industry was "excited" by the innovations. "Killing half your chickens and disposing them is a massive cost, and in ovo sex determination solves part of the problem," Burke said. Richard Rayner, chief executive of Specialized Breeders Australia, said he welcomed innovations to eliminate the "unfortunate side effect of the layer chicken industry". "It's not so much a cost issue, as it's an ethical and consumer perception issue. It's not a welfare issue as they do get killed humanely, but an ethical one," he said. In New Zealand, Brooks said roosters from layer hens - hens breed for eggs - could not simply be used for meat because poultry farms used different breeds for eating. Previous innovations to improve birds' welfare had been quickly adapted here, such as beak trimming, which was now done with a infra-red beam. "We're a tiny, tiny industry. We had 110 million meat chickens last year, that's a fifth of the size of Mississippi State [in the US]...but nevertheless we're seen as innovative."] Culled from NZFarmer.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
Haruka Misawa, a Japanese artist, designer and the founder of Misawa Design Institute, has used modern 3D printing technology to craft some truly stunning minimalist aquariums and water features. Her series of installations is called Waterscape, and she has mixed real water plants and fish to create a beautiful and calming collection of aquariums that is understated and yet completely memorable. It is said that just looking at an aquarium can help reduce stress levels and lower blood pressure, and will produce a calming effect. Just looking at some of the pictures of Misawa’s Waterscape designs will make you feel like the stresses that you deal with on a daily basis are just melting away. When she was designing her Waterscapes, Misawa created a series of 3D printed objects that were inspired by the shapes and objects that would be found in nature. Things like coral, water plants and stone formations inspired the minimalist, sculptural versions that she used in each aquarium. The objects were 3D printed and placed inside of simple, stark square-shaped tanks that provided the living fish with unique and varied structures to swim around and inside of. Misawa created several structures that would trap air inside of them, so plants could be growing underwater among the fish and other aqua life. Read more @3dprint.com
Dr. Batamaka Somé, an anthropologist from Burkina Faso who has worked with Gates foundation, has spent much of his career studying the economic impact of raising chickens in his home country. He explains the importance of chicken to the economy of Burkina Faso in the video. Bill Gates asks" If you were living on $2 a day, what would you do to improve your life? That’s a real question for the nearly 1 billion people living in extreme poverty today. There’s no single right answer, of course, and poverty looks different in different places. But through my work with the foundation, I’ve met many people in poor countries who raise chickens, and I have learned a lot about the ins and outs of owning these birds. (As a city boy from Seattle, I had a lot to learn!) It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens. In fact, if I were in their shoes, that’s what I would do—I would raise chickens. Here’s why: 1) They are easy and inexpensive to take care of. Many breeds can eat whatever they find on the ground (although it’s better if you can feed them, because they’ll grow faster). Hens need some kind of shelter where they can nest, and as your flock grows, you might want some wood and wire to make a coop. Finally, chickens need a few vaccines. The one that prevents the deadly Newcastle disease costs less than 20 cents. 2) They’re a good investment. Suppose a new farmer starts with five hens. One of her neighbors owns a rooster to fertilize the hens’ eggs. After three months, she can have a flock of 40 chicks. Eventually, with a sale price of $5 per chicken—which is typical in West Africa—she can earn more than $1,000 a year, versus the extreme-poverty line of about $700 a year. 3)They help keep children healthy. Malnutrition kills more than 3.1 million children a year. Although eating more eggs—which are rich in protein and other nutrients—can help fight malnutrition, many farmers with small flocks find that it’s more economical to let the eggs hatch, sell the chicks, and use the money to buy nutritious food. But if a farmer’s flock is big enough to give her extra eggs, or if she ends up with a few broken ones, she may decide to cook them for her family. 4)They empower women. Because chickens are small and typically stay close to home, many cultures regard them as a woman’s animal, in contrast to larger livestock like goats or cows. Women who sell chickens are likely to reinvest the profits in their families. The Gates foundation is betting on chicken; alongside partners throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are working to create sustainable market systems for poultry. It’s especially important for these systems to make sure farmers can buy birds that have been properly vaccinated and are well suited to the local growing conditions. Our goal: to eventually help 30 percent of the rural families in sub-Saharan Africa raise improved breeds of vaccinated chickens, up from just 5 percent now. Bill Gates said "When I was growing up, chickens weren’t something you studied, they were something you made silly jokes about". It has been eye-opening for me to learn what a difference they can make in the fight against poverty. It sounds funny, but I mean it when I say that I am excited about chickens.
Global agri-business Olam International Ltd. and leading French feedstock company InVivo Animal Nutrition & Health have signed a consulting agreement to jointly develop expertise in animal feed in Nigeria. The two-year consulting services partnership agreement signed in December will involve technical assistance and sharing of expertise to jointly develop solutions and products in the animal feed space. The knowledge transfer between the two companies will help develop solutions, formulate animal feed, characterize raw materials and implement R&D trials and protocols to enter the animal feed industry in Nigeria. This agreement will see, both companies tap into each other’s proven expertise – Olam for its Africa experience and InVivo NSA for its animal feed proficiency. InVivo NSA will support Olam in the design, equipment selection and installation of its feed mills across Nigeria. Its nutrition and formulation experts will work closely with Olam’s team to build a strong understanding of the local market and develop cost-effective formulations using local and imported raw materials. InVivo NSA will also train Olam’s staff on providing veterinary field support to poultry and fish farmers in order to help deliver consistent product performance. In addition, Olam will gain access to InVivo NSA’s R&D and product development facilities as well as their feed manufacturing units in other developing markets across Asia and Latin America. Olam’s Global Head of Grains, K C Suresh, said: “This partnership follows our announcement in November to enter the animal feed and related businesses in Nigeria. This knowledge-transfer agreement will accelerate our penetration into this space, allowing Olam and InVivo NSA to rapidly scale up commercial activities. In doing so, we look forward to improving productivity and returns for the local fish and poultry producers, which supports Nigeria’s economy.” InVivo NSA’s CEO, H. de Roquefeuil, adds: “Developing key partnerships with major players and accelerating our footprint in Africa is at the core of InVivo Group’s 2025 strategy. We look forward to leveraging off Olam’s Africa experience to bring our differentiated expertise to the region.” The global feed industry is a growing part of the agri-commodity complex with attractive returns and a strong growth outlook, particularly in emerging markets such as Nigeria. Olam has a 25-year history in Nigeria across multiple commodities. Its recent decision to expand into the animal feed industry was based on a comprehensive study of the sector and its existing expertise in the agri-commodity complex in the region. Nigeria was chosen as the first point of entry due to its strong growth outlook and demographics where the commercial feed market is expected to grow at over 10 percent CAGR over the next 5 years. read more at wattagnet.com
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Olam International to invest in animal feed manufacturing, poultry breeding and hatchery in the states of Kaduna and Kwara in Nigeria. Olam International (also known as Olam Group) plans to invest NGN30 billion (US$150 million) in two state-of-the-art feed mills, poultry breeding farms and a hatchery to produce day-old chicks in Nigeria. A groundbreaking ceremony in Kaduna state last week was attended by Olam Group Nigeria and the governor of Kaduna State, H.E. Malam Nasir el-Rufai, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh, who was representing the president of Nigeria, H.E. Muhammadu Buhari. “This is the latest investment by Olam in Nigeria’s domestic food and agricultural production sector after our recent investments in wheat milling assets and the ongoing development of our 10,000-hectare rice farm and mill in Nasarawa state,” said Olam’s CEO for Africa, Venkataramani Srivathsan. “This new venture into animal feed is a win-win for Olam and Nigeria. Domestically produced meat is being hampered by a lack of good quality feed, support for farmers and availability of young stock, but consumption is set to increase. By investing in poultry and fish feed, we can utilize the wheat bran from our wheat milling operations, as well as maximize our sourcing networks to buy corn and soy from local farmers. Our investment in the hatchery will help boost poultry production and, in the long run, help reduce the country’s reliance on imports. This development underlines the continued confidence we share in Nigeria’s ambition for self-sufficiency.” Approximately two-thirds of the total investment is committed to building and operating the facilities in Kaduna state, with the balance to be invested in an integrated poultry and fish feed mill in Kwara state. Total annual feed capacity is expected to be more than 600,000 metric tons. The Kaduna mill will supply mainly Nigeria’s northern markets, while the southwestern region will be the main focus of the Kwara plant. Sourcing corn and soybeans locally, it is hoped the feed mills will encourage domestic production of these crops, and food security will be improved with Olam’s planned construction of in-house storage of 100,000 metric tons. The poultry breeding farm in Kaduna is expected to produce more than 1 million hatching eggs each week to the hatchery. Olam International,based in Singapore ,is a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 70 countries, supplying a range of products across 16 platforms to more than 16,000 customers worldwide. They have a direct sourcing and processing presence in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses. source Wattagnet.com
Hong Kong culled 4,500 birds on 7/6/16 after the deadly H7N9 bird flu virus was discovered in a chicken at a local market. Health officials in white hazmat suits and masks dumped the chickens into green plastic bins at a wholesale poultry market in central Hong Kong.The bins were then pumped with carbon dioxide to kill the birds. Hong Kong is particularly alert to the spread of viruses after an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome swept through the city in 2003, killing 299 people and infecting around 1,800. Bird flu scares in the past two years have seen mass culls of up 20,000 birds in Hong Kong. A spokeswoman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said the latest cull included chickens and pigeons. Trade of live poultry has also been suspended after authorities said Saturday the avian flu virus was found in a fecal sample collected from a chicken at a market in the Tuen Mun, a neighborhood in the west of Hong Kong. The city's health minister Ko Wing-man said the city was staying "stringent" against infectious diseases when he announced the cull late Monday. H7N9 is a particular worry for authorities as it does not kill infected chickens or cause them to develop symptoms, which allows it to spread undetected until contact is made with humans. The majority of human cases of H7N9 infection have been associated with direct or indirect contact with infected live or dead poultry, according to the World Health Organization. Human infections from the H7N9 strain were first reported in China in 2013. The virus can cause serious respiratory illness and has led to deaths. culled from pri.org
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
3D printing technology is helping veterinarians prep for surgical procedures on one of the most prized bird species in the world. Recently, students from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine had come across a wild eagle with its left humerus out of alignment, due to improper healing after it was shattered by a gunshot wound months earlier. In order to help the bird take flight again, an intensive surgery was required. To do this, the veterinarian students turned to those in the College of Engineering, who assisted by creating two 3D printed life-sized models of the eagle’s humerus, one that was healthy and another that replicated the actual injured bone. Before the the 3D printed models were used by Dr. R. Avery Bennett, an acclaimed avian surgeon, to help perform the procedure, a massive dataset was procured from the spiral CT scan taken by veterinary radiologist Dr. Stephen Joslyn. Consulting from Australia, Dr. Joslyn added a so-called ‘threshold’ into the data, which enabled the computer to separate ‘bone’ and ‘not-bone’ from the subtle and delicate CT scan information. Since the injured bone was fragmented, and thus unable to be printed in a single piece, medical illustrator Janet Sinn-Hanlon utilized software to manually thicken and link the bone areas together. After communications went back-and-forth between experts across the world, which were facilitated by Wildlife Medical Clinic intern and University of Illinois student Dr. Nichole Rosenhagen, it seemed that the life-sized models were set to be 3D printed in the university’s Rapid Prototyping Lab. But, the day before the surgery was planned, it turned out that the 3D printing queue was full. Thanks to Ralf Möller, the lab supervisor and director of technical services in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, the models were 3D printed overnight in about six hours, and were good to go by the time the lab opened up the next morning. Möller enlisted the help of undergraduate student and lab technician Nick Ragano, who visited the lab overnight to ensure that 3D models would be prepared for use, and also pressure washed the starch-based support material used to print the plastic models. That morning, the 3D printed bones were collected by Dr. Rosenhagen, and the injured eagle received successful orthopedic surgery in a matter of three hours culled from 3dprint.com
Sunday, June 5, 2016
The poultry industry is well grounded in Nigeria with an estimated worth of over 100 billion Naira. There are a large number of commercial players and also small holder farmers in the sector most of which are located in the south-western part of the country,with close proximity to Lagos state. There is a large market for poultry products in the country as evidenced by the 1.2 million tonnes of products smuggled into the country annually,the recent ban on imported poultry products has opened up more markets for home-grown products. A series of “megatrends” will permanently reshape agribusiness as the world’s producers and industry stakeholders re-calibrate to tackle the challenges of feeding 9 billion people in 2050, reports Christopher Nolan Sr., managing director at global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.C. (PwC). The PwC’s top five global megatrends include;1) Demographic shifts; 2) Shift in global economic power 3) Accelerating urbanization 4). Resource scarcity 5)Evolving technology. Lagos with a population of about 21 million people with majority in middle and upper class who show preference for poultry products,the state fits perfectly into the megatrend that will shape agribusiness. We have the population, more people are moving to Lagos, we practice urban-agric and also incorporate greenhouse and biocrop technology. The state itself has commercial farmers and small holder farmers in the poultry sector churning out large numbers of chicken and eggs .The state with a vision to be Africa's mega city and global economic financial hub has dedicated zones and areas where poultry farms are domiciled. The state has invested heavily in the poultry sector with poultry estates in Ikorodu,Ojo ,farm settlements in Badagry and a training school in Epe. The state with a policy thrust to eradicate poverty through infrastructural renewal and development recently embarked on an empowerment programme where cages,poultry equipment,eggs and suitable land was allocated to poultry farmers to upscale their level of production . The federal government with the Agricultural transformation agenda to increase crop production and also to create value added food processing industries as a means to reduce food imports and create jobs, has given the state a platform to call for private sector participation in the poultry value chain alongside other 22 agricultural chains. Investments into the poultry industry in the country recently got a boost with a Multi-Net group leading with plans to establish a farm and also the African development bank injecting 34.5 billion naira to boost the agricultural sector. A partnership between the government and a Portuguese company to establish a feed mill in the country is on going.( pls check earlier posts for details of these investments.) Investors in the poultry value chain can look into these areas; 1) Processing plant; many of the smuggled products are processed ,indicating the preference for more processed poultry. A processing plant can process poultry as chicken sausages, canned chicken, processed frozen, stewed or fried. The introduction of new processed products will not only be very profitable but more jobs will be available as more chicken will be in demand. 2) Egg powder plant; investors can look into this area, egg powder is very important in so many industries and establishment of such will also increase egg sales. The state is embarking on a school feeding programme, where eggs will be part of the menu. This programme itself demands more eggs to be produced ,and also the eggplant will compliment this effort to ensure that eggs are always available,by extending the shelf-life. There are seasons where there is egg glut,the egg powder plant will solve this problem and add more economic value to it. 3) Production is another point of investment, we are calling for investors to revamp the industry in terms of more production. This will be traced to the onset of production. There are partnerships with various hatcheries with various breeds in the country,however new and well established breeds can be introduced into the country, to add to what is on ground and also create a platform for breeding. Breeding centers can be established to fashion- out how to get our own highly productive and hardy breed. 4) Waste management; investors can look into the biogas plant to generate electricity and gas or to process as fertilizers which can benefit farmers. The feathers can also be processed and sold as fashion accessories.The blood and fat can also be processed and incorporated into animal feed. 5)Transportation ; investors can look into cooling vans,trucks and buses. This is to ensure that the products get to the market in good condition.The transportation of live birds to markets is another area of investment.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Scientists hope using dogs could revolutionise how malaria is detected, enabling doctors to identify it quickly and without invasive tests Dogs may be able to sniff out malaria through their acute sense of smell, thereby saving thousands of lives through quick and non-invasive detection, scientists have claimed. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant to commission research into the possibility to scientists at Durham University, Medical Detection Dogs and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, along with counterparts in Gambia. It is hoped the animals may be able to detect odors associated with the condition and which are too subtle to be identified by human smell. Previous research has suggested dogs can be highly accurate in detection cancer in humans. Steve Lindsay, expert in the development of malaria-control measures in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Durham University and principle investigator in the project, said: “Recent research has demonstrated that patients infected with the malaria parasite produce specific odors in their breath that disappear after treatment of the parasite. We also know that malaria mosquitoes prefer to feed on malaria patients, which they almost certainly identify by their odor. “If dogs can be used to identify malaria-infected individuals, they could be used at ports of entry for screening travelers entering areas that are malaria free, but susceptible to re-invasion. Using dogs for detection of parasites has the advantage that it is non-invasive, portable, does not require a laboratory, is fully functional in field settings and can be used to test a high quantity of samples. By using the dogs, we can quickly find and treat those with malaria and thereby hugely accelerating the speed at which we can wipe out this terrible disease altogether.” Dr Claire Guest, CEO of Medical Detection Dogs which trains animals for medical purposes, said: “Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. They can detect parts per trillion; that is equivalent to one spoon of sugar in two Olympic-sized swimming pools. In training trials, they have proven themselves to be 93 per cent reliable at detecting cancer. I feel confident they will learn to detect the odor of malaria.” In August of last year, the use of medical detection dogs for sniffing out cancer was approved for use in an NHS trial following evidence the animals are highly reliable at detecting the disease in humans. In 2015, there were an estimated 214 million malaria cases globally and an estimated 438,000 deaths caused by the disease. culled from the independent.co.uk
John Jewson, a poultry farmer in East Anglia, UK, has a farm surrounded by houses on three sides and has had to tread a careful line between running his business and keeping his neighbors happy. While the family farm has reared various species over its history, Jewson has found that poultry farming is now the answer. At Poplars Farm, near Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, Jewson has three sheds and approximately four acres, from which he runs a commercial pullet replacement operation, taking in free-range chicks and rearing them to point of lay. "It is a very niche operation,” said Jewson. “This is realistically the only kind of farming that can fit onto a site like this.”(urban farming). He has found modern improvements in farming methods have made running the farm easier. “It’s all automatic feed lines now. One great development in the last few years has been the increasing use of modules for moving the chickens round,” Jewson said. “That’s been an investment that has really paid off. It’s very welfare friendly for the chickens and makes life a lot easier for the catchers.” The most recent investment on the farm has been a solar power system, which cut his electricity bills by 50 percent. The 50 kilowatt ground-mounted system occupies a small parcel of land next to the chicken sheds and in daylight conditions turns the farm into a completely green operation with power left over to export to the grid. The panels were installed by EvoEnergy, one of the country’s largest solar power companies. “They are actually doing better than we expected, producing approximately 20 percent more electricity than anticipated,” said Jewson. “On a typical day, we are using approximately 12 kilowatts of power, and the panels are producing approximately 40 to 48 kilowatts.” Under the feed-in tariff scheme, designed to encourage businesses and homeowners to produce more green electricity, Jewson is paid for all of the electricity he produces, whether he uses it or not. He is also paid for exporting power to the national grid.see more “The scheme lasts for 25 years, and I often joke that this is my pension, because it will be generating money as well as electricity long after I’ve retired,” said Jewson. Jewson decided to go for a ground-mounted system rather than put the panels on the roofs of his sheds, because he was worried about adding extra loads onto the roofs. He also felt the dust from the ventilation system might settle on the panels.
One of the UK’s largest broiler farmers is burning poultry litter on farm, and already experiencing the benefits. “Where there’s muck, there’s brass,” is a phrase usually more associated with the U.K. county of Yorkshire than Norfolk, and while one of the U.K.’s largest broiler producers has discovered that this adage still holds true, there’s not much muck in evidence at Uphouse Farm in north Norfolk, run by Nigel Joice and his son Patrick. Although producing more than 5.6 million broilers per year, the Joices run a particularly tidy, even “picturesque” operation, around their 17th century farmhouse – it’s a pleasant environment, despite the scale. Given their concern for their surroundings, it’s little surprise that the Joices have decided to reduce their environmental footprint through the generation of heat via on-farm burning of poultry litter using low-emission technology. The Joices can house 800,000 broilers at any time. They have a permit for 830,000 birds but, rather than expand production, more recent years have seen the producers focus on finding and implementing a self-sustaining energy solution. They now burn their poultry litter, recently reclassified by the European Union as a by-product, and use the heat in the broiler sheds. The farm is able to satisfy almost all its heat requirements via litter burning. “One broiler produces enough manure to heat three birds, so the numbers are good,” Nigel says. Uphouse now has an almost limitless supply of clean, dry heat, giving the birds enhanced environmental conditions, as well as offering not only cost savings, but energy cost stability. There is still an occasional need for gas, but this is simply a 5 percent backup, used during downtime, or as a boost in really cold weather. Installing the plant has brought savings in fuel and litter removal, but the energy center investment is also “being paid back by the birds,” in terms of performance. “Indirectly heating the sheds has transformed them,” says Nigel. “We saw an increase in feed rate conversion of 6 points in the first flock, and this has improved with subsequent flocks. “We’re getting more heat now than we did in the early days, and we can run our houses hotter than we did before. The birds like it – they are, after all jungle birds. “But we’re still learning. Running the poultry sheds warmer has been a fairly recent development, we’re making gradual changes. We can also afford to heat the houses for longer, which was not always possible with gas.” The farm produces 8,000 tonnes of manure annually, and 2,600-2,700 are burned for heat, although the plant could be upgraded to burn more and produce electricity, as it was built with extra capacity. And for the Joices, now that the energy plant is up and running, beyond feeding the burner, there is little more to do, as the system is controlled remotely, but it can be monitored locally via an intelligent data panel. Prior to building the energy plant, the Joices had been burning liquefied petroleum gas in the broiler sheds, but this put moisture and gases into the atmosphere that had to be removed. The new system heats the sheds by piping hot water through the houses, and this gives clean and dry heat, so air conditions are improved. There were several factors that drove the Joices to decide on burning chicken manure. Nigel explains: “For a number of years, manure was of no value – local farmers didn’t want it as a fertilizer and although we had discussions with a local power station, this did not work out. “We considered producing gas on farm, but a chance occurrence led us to BHSL and its poultry manure-to-energy technology.” Culled from wattagnet
Economic shifts, scarce resources drive advances in food technology. A series of “megatrends” will permanently reshape agribusiness as the world’s producers and industry stakeholders re-calibrate to tackle the challenges of feeding 9 billion people in 2050, reports Christopher Nolan Sr., managing director at global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.C. (PwC). A megatrend, as defined by Nolan, is a proven macroeconomic force backed by science and data that ultimately shape society. Based on discussions with its clients, industry leaders and politicians, PwC “megatrends” share common characteristics:1) Significant, consistent impact across all geographies. 2) Measurable, universal impact across all societies.3) Long-term, lasting impact. 4) An economic impact measurable in trillions of dollars Nolan outlines the key macroeconomic trends that will shape both the world and agribusiness over the next few decades. The PwC’s top five global megatrends include; 1.) Demographic shifts; Population growth is a known constant however, the buying power of a growing global middle class qualifies as a megatrend. PwC defines “middle class” as earning enough to include more protein in their diet, consuming more calories than those classified as lower class. “The rising need for food will increase faster than the rate of growth of the global population,” Nolan states. The global population is set to increase by 18 percent by 2050, “but the projected increase in global food consumption is expected to grow by 35 percent,” he reports. 2) Shift in global economic power According to Nolan, the forecasted 2050 GDP of seven emerging economies (E7 = Brazil, China, Russia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey) will nearly double that of the G7, i.e. United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.K. Geopolitical issues aside, multinational companies are increasingly investing in E7 countries. With this new found cash flow, Nolan notes, E7 nations are educating their workforce and adding attractive investments to their portfolio, e.g. China’s $1.3 trillion investment in the U.S. treasury debt. Meanwhile, the economies of frontier countries (F7 = Colombia, Peru, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, Morocco, Nigeria) are growing rapidly — with forecasts pointing to 30 percent growth over the next five years. “The economic power of these economies will drive investment in agribusiness as local governments focus on being able to feed their citizens,” Nolan says. “Food-consuming nations — those who do not produce enough and have to consume product produced outside their country — will pursue investments in food-producing nations to better control the food value chain.” 3) Accelerating urbanization For the first time ever, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities. “Today there are 30 megacities — those with populations over 10 million — and the number is expected to double,” he says. “If some of these cities were stand-alone countries, they would rank in the top 50 most populated nations.” The vast majority of global population will live in urban areas by 2030. In China, for example, an additional 300 million people will move to cities. To put this in perspective, that’s equivalent to the relocation of the entire population of the United States. Such change will require new means of agricultural production and distribution to deliver food into city centers. 4). Resource scarcity In order to feed a global population of 8.3 billion, the world will require 50 percent more energy, 40 percent more water and 35 percent more food. How will this be accomplished with limited natural resources? Resource scarcity caused or accentuated by climate change will require improved crop technology, producing higher yields with fewer inputs. 5.) Evolving technology The rapid increase in development and acceptance of technology will be utilized to meet food demands, i.e. better yield through genetically modified (GM) seeds and limited use of resources. “One of the challenges we face in agribusiness today is the acceptance of these and how they are perceived to impact food security,” he notes, citing the continued backlash against GM seeds. Nolan suggests that to profit from these changes there will be a need to feed billions which will present many opportunities for agribusiness: a) Feeding the middle class will increase protein consumption and investment in the protein value chain will be required. b) E7 will allow opportunities to capture profit as consuming nations exert greater power over producing nations. c)Urbanization will fuel the rise of city farming, improve food distribution models, and less labor-intensive farms will produce more of the world’s food. d) innovative farming will reduce costs and improve resource sustainability. e)Evolving technology will improve yields and food output.More