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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Scientists discover how insecticides reverse herbicide resistance.

Scientists investigating ways to delay pre-emergent herbicide resistance within agricultural weeds have discovered applying an insecticide can reverse some types of resistance. The discovery is being welcomed by grain growers who are battling a number of weeds with growing amounts of resistance to chemical controls. In Western Australia this is often annual ryegrass. Research fellow at the University of Western Australia and researcher at the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) Roberto Busi said the finding was a significant step forward. He said his work had shown that it was possible to reverse metabolic resistance to trifluralin in annual ryegrass using the organo-phosphate insecticide phorate. Metabolic resistance is a defense mechanism plants can have which they use to protect themselves against herbicide toxicity. continue

Vaccination linked to brain damage in canines.

Vaccination linked to brain damage in canines. Neurological damage is one of the most prevalent and least desired adverse effects of the vaccine process. By over-vaccinating canines, we are introducing a potentially serious danger into society: brain damaged dogs. Amongst the vaccine-induced antibodies found in the Purdue study, autoantibodies to Cardiolipin were found. Elevated levels of anti-cardiolipin autoantibodies (ACA) have been reported to be significantly associated with neurological conditions. Encephalitis has been shown to appear in dogs after vaccination. (Grene, CE, ed, Appel MJ, Canine Distemper in Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat, 2nd edition, Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1998: 9-22). Writing in the Veterinary Record during 1992 (130, 27-30), AIP McCandlish et al state: “Post-vaccinal encephalitis is a recognized complication of the administration of certain strains of live attenuated canine distemper vaccine (Hartley 1974, Bestetti and others 1978, Cornwell and others 1988)”. Post vaccinal canine distemper encephalitis occurs in young animals, especially those less than six months of age. It has been recognized as a disease entity for a number of years, and is believed to be association with vaccination using live virus. The pathogenesis of this disease is unclear, but may result from insufficient attenuation of the vaccine virus which causes subsequent infections of the CNS; the triggering of a latent distemper infection by vaccination; other vaccine components; or an enhanced susceptibility of the animal (e.g., animals that are immunosuppressed). more

Monday, February 27, 2017

3 key ingredients to achieve food security in Africa.

African farmers face one of the greatest balancing acts of the 21st century – feeding a rapidly expanding population without causing irreparable damage to the environment they rely on. It’s a monumental ask. Africa’s population set to surge to 2.4 billion by 2050 the continent will inevitably continue to see rapidly rising demand for food. Pushing up supply to meet demand is no easy feat and the challenge is compounded by climate change. But “50years ago, commentators said it would be impossible to feed the population we have now. Yet between everybody working up and down the supply chain those naysayers have been proved wrong,” said Tim Smith, group quality director at Tesco and Farm Africa’s latest board member. The stakes have never been so high. Africa needs a clear roadmap on how to achieve long-term, sustainable food security. GROWING MORE – AND BETTER more

Holistic dog care.

Holistic dog health combines several traditional and alternative therapies to treat ailing dogs into a single approach with the focus on what's most important. Holistic Dog Health MedicineHolistic dog health is often confused with homeopathic dog health. Homeopathic remedies are all about stimulating the body's natural healing response with the use of plants, minerals, animal substances and other natural treatments. Veterinarians that practice holistic dog health look at the canine's overall health – not just a few symptoms – and use both traditional and alternative treatments. If you choose to treat your pet holistically, he may be prescribed an herbal remedy or a prescription drug. He may receive massage therapy or need to have lab work done. In short, holistic dog health looks for the best and healthiest way to treat a dog without choosing to be on the traditional or alternative side of the fence. The holistic approach to dog’s health takes every aspect of the dog into account – food and nutrition, lifestyle, activity level, supplements, medicine, and treatments. All these must work together to support the dog’s well-being. Holistic veterinary medicine is currently a trending topic, and pet food companies are quick to utilize opportunities. more

The World Health Organisation draws up list of drug-resistant bacteria..

The World Health Organization has drawn up a list of the drug-resistant bacteria that pose the biggest threat to human health.Top of the list are gram-negative bugs, such as E. coli, which can cause lethal bloodstream infections and pneumonia in frail hospital patients. The list will be discussed ahead of this summer's G20 meeting in Germany.The aim is to focus the minds of governments on finding new antibiotics to fight hard-to-treat infections. Experts have repeatedly warned that we are on the cusp of a "post-antibiotic era", where some infections will be untreatable with existing drugs.Common infections could then spread and kill.Dr Marie-Paule Kieny from the WHO said antibiotic resistance was reaching "alarming proportions" and yet the drug pipeline was "practically dry". "We are fast running out of treatment options. If we leave it to market forces alone, the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time." The WHO says there is a danger that pharmaceutical companies will develop only treatments that are easier and more profitable to make - the low-hanging fruit.The focus should be on clinical need instead, says the WHO. Tuberculosis was not included on the list because the search for new treatments for this infection is already being prioritized. Experts drew up the list by looking at the current level of drug resistance, global death rates, prevalence of the infections in communities and the burden the diseases cause on health systems. One of the infections at the top is a bacterium called Klebsiella that has recently developed resistance to a powerful class of antibiotics called carbapenems. The US recently reported the fatal case of a woman who caught this infection which could not be treated with any of 26 different antibiotics available to her doctors. The list; CRITICAL . 1) Acinetobacter baumannii (carbapenem-resistant) - can cause serious chest and blood infections 2)Pseudomonas aeruginosa (carbapenem-resistant) - can cause serious chest and blood infections 3) Enterobacteriaceae, including Klebsiella, E. coli, Serratia, and Proteus (carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing strains) - can cause serious chest, blood and urine infections HIGH PRIORITY 1)Enterococcus faecium (vancomycin-resistant) - can cause serious wound and blood infections 2)Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant) - can cause serious chest, blood, urine and wound infections 3)Helicobacter pylori (clarithromycin-resistant) - infection linked to stomach ulcers 4)Campylobacter spp. (fluoroquinolone-resistant) - can cause diarrhoeal disease and bloodstream infections 5)Salmonellae (fluoroquinolone-resistant) - can cause diarrhoeal disease and blood poisoning 6)Neisseria gonorrhoeae (cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant) - a sexually transmitted infection that can cause infertility and, rarely, can spread to the blood and joints. more

Reducing Post-Harvest Loss in the Nigerian Tomato Value Chain.

The business of tomato production and marketing in Nigeria is extremely dynamic. The YieldWise program, a Rockefeller Foundation initiative, focuses on tomatoes, a ubiquitous regional crop that farmers have been cultivating for years in spite of volatile markets and unpredictable returns on investment. As with most perishable vegetables, tomato production faces consistent market instability. This has led to an average annual post-harvest loss of up to 45 percent. It is well known among stakeholders in the value chain that tomato is a commodity that historically could either drive a farmer into poverty or provide a path out of it depending on market dynamics, weather, or pests and diseases. It is in recognition of the importance of this crop and the potential impact that loss reduction could have on farmers’ livelihoods that PYXERA Global supports the YieldWise initiative and works with local and international partners to reduce post-harvest loss in the tomato value chain.more

Zero energy cooling chamber extends fruits and vegetables shelf-life.

Zero energy Cooling chamber extends fruits and vegetables shelf-life.Small-scale farmers can increase shelf-life of fruits and vegetables for up to nine days by storing their produce in simple non-energy reliant cooling chambers. A zero energy Cool chamber does not demand any form of power to run, making it appropriate for off-the grid farmers.The structure, which is build by locally available material, relies on the principle of evaporative Cooling. Materials required include bricks, river-bed sand, bamboo and water. Two parallel brick walls are constructed in form of a rectangle above the ground. Sand is filled into the cavity between the two walls. A standard small-scale unit can be constructed with measurements of 165 cm by 115 cm floor. Erect a cavity of 67.5 cm high-leaving an inter-space of 7.5cm. Drench the river-bed-sand- filled cavity with water. Make a cover lid of bamboo with straws of grass. Evaporative cooling occurs when air, which is not saturated with water, passes over a wet place. This cools the sand-bed of the cooling chamber.As water evaporates from the bed, it causes a cooling effect. Faster rates of evaporation lead to greater cooling. Cooling in the produce happens because water consumes energy to change to gaseous state. This means energy that could have facilitated metabolism in the fruits or vegetables is used up.Cooling chambers can reduce temperature to between 10 degree Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius. And humidity would be kept well above 90 per cent. Low humidity air sucks a lot of water from the system. Increased humidity causes drop in temperatures due to low metabolism in the foods because of inactivity of enzymes. Active enzymes cause more ripening and deterioration of the skin of fruits. continue

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Onions stop tomato aphids attack.

In cutting down pesticide application and the accruing costs in production, one farmer succeeded in vending off the pests by growing onions around his greenhouse tomatoes in the last season. Lari Sub-county farmer Nathan Kimeu was implementing an idea he learnt from the Internet that onions’ smell can repel some crop pests like aphids. “I found out that some crops are good biological controls of pests, which attack common commercial foods such as chillies, capsicum, Kales, cabbage, tomatoes, among others. I also leant that greenhouse rotation with non-victim crops like coriander can break the lifecycle of the enemies,” he said. In May 2016, he grew onions in the periphery of his 8m by 30m greenhouse, which had tomatoes as the main crop. Indeed on close scrutiny of the tomatoes on the outermost lanes- those neighbouring the onion soldiers- were free from the aphid attack for the entire season. Aphids are pest that drill into the leaves of crops. They suck the sap with the nutrients, causing severe produce losses due to unhealthy crops.The leaves curl to the because of the heavy infestation from the underside. This condition reduces the surface area for photosynthesis, the food making process in plants.Because of the extraction of the nutrient-rich sap, some leaves turn yellow due to malnourishment, which also reduces photosynthesis resulting from the absence of the green pigment. This negatively affects the overall production.Application of chemicals in the control of the pests is not only expensive as is required interval interventions. But the onions are a one-time cost that defends the crop until the end of the season and still be sold alongside the main crop, Kimeu said. “Organic farming is gaining fame as food-related diseases rise. I am starting small and with such positive results, I hope to go organic to meet the small but healthy eating market,” he said. The Kiambu County farmer intends to grow the ‘soldiers’ along the rows of the tomatoes in 2017 to boost the defense while reducing the cost of production. Although he cannot quantify the money saved from the biological control of the pests, the farmer says his main pesticides application was specific on other pest such as white flies and mites.source

Farmers use tractor smoke as fertilizer.

Arusha farmers are teaching their Kenyan counterparts a revolutionary technology that helps turn harmful farming machinery smoke into soil fertilizer having introduced to them last year and recorded increased yields of upto 15 percent as the novel idea hopes to assist farmers markedly cut carbon emissions. The technology dubbed The Bioagtive Emmissions Technology already being used in Canada and parts of America, ensures that instead of letting out exhaust fumes and smokes from tractors and other farm machinery go where they are going to be destructive, the fumes are tapped and channeled into the soil where the fumes become fertilizers. The Bio-Agtive method involves cooling the tractor exhaust emissions then injecting the condensed gas into the air cart or directly into the soil while sowing or cultivating. When seeding with Bio-Agtive Emissions Technology (BAET), the cooled exhaust emissions are directed first into the air cart. It exposes the seed to humidity and oxidized elements from the emissions. While, the chemistry is fairly involved, the results, according to those involved in the project, are plants that create their own nitrate, develop better root systems and have much less reliance on fertilizer. “Soil acidity is also reduced due to the action of carbon dioxide in acidic soils,” said Gary Lewis whose company N/C Quest licenses the Bio-Agtive system. Kenyan farmers on an exchange programme to Arusha witnessed first hand how the Arusha farmers have perfected the art of mechanized agriculture, farming using machines, and how they ensure that any fumes or toxics that may harm the environment are put to good use. “The most interesting thing about this venture apart from using all the aspects of the machines including smoke, is the fact that it reduces farmers' over reliance on fertilizer and that to me is a huge lesson because that is one of the biggest problems,”said Cyrus Kimutai a wheat farmer in Eldoret who was in the exchange programme.source

Spain has first avian flu case in commercial poultry.

Spain has first avian flu case in commercial poultry.Veterinary authorities in Spain have reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) the country’s first outbreak of H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial poultry. The first signs of the presence of the virus were an increase in mortality among ducks in one of 10 poultry houses on the farm in Girona in the region of Catalonia. A total of 723 birds died and the remaining 17,077 have been humanely destroyed. Meanwhile, national veterinary agencies have confirmed new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in France, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany and Italy. France: 70 new outbreaks confirmed.According to a report from the French agriculture ministryon February 23rd, there have now been 333 confirmed outbreaks of H5N8 HPAI in poultry – an increase of 70 from the previous week. All cases have been in the south-west of the country. The ministry’s latest weekly report to on the avian flu situation to the OIE records 46 new outbreaks starting between February 6 and 13. Almost all of these were on farms, and the majority were in the department of Landes. More than 218,000 birds died or have been humanely destroyed following detection of the virus, but the number of birds has not been officially recorded for many of these outbreaks and so are not included in that figure. source

10 signs of cancer in dogs.

Cancer occurs in both mixed breed and purebred dogs (depending on the cancer, some breeds like Great Danes, Saint Bernard, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Golden Retrievers are considered at high risk). Canine cancer can happen at any age but most often it occurs in older dogs, which is partially because dogs are living longer due to modern, enhanced nutrition and veterinary care. Cancer is a disease where cells grow out of control, invade surrounding tissue, and can metastasize and just like in humans, cancer can take many forms in dogs. The disease can be localized (in one area) or generalized (spread throughout the body). Cancer is considered multi factorial, which means it has no known single cause but heredity and the environment are thought to be factors. The common signs are 1)Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow. 2)Sores that don’t heal. 3)weight loss. 4)Loss of appetite. 5)Bleeding or discharge from any body opening. 6)Offensive odor 7)Difficulty eating or swallowing. 8)Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina. 9))persistent lameness or stiffness.10)Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating. Finding a lump or your dog has any of the other symptoms above, let this be investigated by your family veterinarian. If it’s confirmed your dog has cancer, it’s advised to get a second opinion —

13 Incredible Ways to Use Aspirin.

Aspirin is most commonly used as a painkiller, but it can actually do so much more than just relieve your weekly headaches. Aspirin can help solve some of your daily, pesky problems like razor burn, dandruff, and even acne. Find out all the incredible ways to use this medication to improve your life here Aspirin can prevent cancer, see

Farmer in Burundi discovers an innovative method of storing tomatoes and preventing spoilage.

Farmer in Burundi discovers an innovative method of storing tomatoes and preventing spoilage.Vital Nduwimana hated how many tomatoes he lost every season. For years, his tomatoes started rotting just three or four days after harvest. He felt frustrated. Mr. Nduwimana explains: “I was not able to sell all my tomatoes; I lost almost half of my production. Worse still, I would sell at a low price in the market. So in 2015, I thought that maybe I should find a tomato conservation technique.” Mr. Nduwimana grows tomatoes in eastern Burundi, on Kabuyenge hill, five kilometres from the Tanzanian border. In eastern Burundi, tomatoes are abundant during the harvest months of August and September. But growers find it difficult to keep tomatoes for later sale, which leads to a large number of tomatoes rotting. Mr. Nduwimana tried several techniques to solve his problem. He tried storing his tomatoes in water, in clay, underground, in cartons, and even in sand. He tried everything that came to his mind—but without success. Then one day, he noticed that the tomatoes he had kept next to his banana trees were not rotten. Then he noticed the ash at the foot of the banana trees.He decided to try keeping his tomatoes in ash and found that this was more effective than any of the other techniques he had tried.He uses ash from a chimney, and sifts it three or four times to remove large residues, debris, and other foreign materials. Then, he dumps the ash into a paper carton and places the tomatoes in the carton. With this technique, Mr. Nduwimana manages to safely store his tomatoes for many months. He explains: “I keep my tomatoes in the ash for a period of five to six months, so I can sell them in December, January, or February when the price has risen—since tomatoes are rare and become expensive during this period.“ Jean Nivyabandi is an agronomist. He says using ash has no negative effect on the tomatoes, which can be consumed safely. He explains, “There is no risk of tomato toxicity after storage in ash.” Nevertheless, the agronomist wants the Institute of Agronomic Sciences of Burundi to conduct tests to scientifically validate Mr. Nduwimana’s technique. Meanwhile, other tomato growers in Cibitoke—the main tomato-producing region of Burundi— have been inspired to try the techniques themselves. Judith Bizmana also grows tomatoes in Cibitoke. She says: “I can normally harvest between 550 and 600 kilograms of tomatoes per season. But … I would lose nearly half of my production. Today, I rub my hands and smile all the time. Thanks to Mr. Nduwimana’s technique, I can keep my tomatoes [and] wait for the price to rise in the market, knowing that very few of them will rot.” Meanwhile, the innovative farmer has changed his life. Mr. Nduwimana says: “With the income from the sale of tomatoes, I opened a small restaurant and I am a permanent supplier of tomatoes to restaurants in the provincial capital. I supply the whole market, and I have created jobs, too. My whole life has changed. In the future, I plan to buy a truck to transport my tomatoes.” Mr. Nduwimana has become an ambitious entrepreneur. In July 2016, he even won an innovation competition organized by an NGO called Agakura. more

The Beauty of Burmese Cats.

Cats are naturally nosey creatures, but this breed takes it to the extreme. If you are considering getting a Burmese cat, you will need to resign yourself to the loss of all privacy, as your new shadow will want to follow you everywhere, helping you with everything from reading a book to making the dinner. They also love to sneak under the duvet. This curious nature necessitates caution, however, as Burmese cats have been known to sneak into an open window of a van or car and find themselves transported far from home! The name belies the breed’s origins. When the Burmese army invaded Thailand in the 18th century, it is thought that a Thai temple cat was whisked off back to Burma. In the 20th century, retiring naval officer and practicing psychiatrist, Dr Joseph Thompson imported an ancestor of this cat from Burma to the US, so the breed was named after Burma even though they didn’t originate there. The original Thai name for this breed of cat means “beautiful, fortunate and of splendid appearance” – very fitting we think! Their propensity for exploring, coupled with the fact that they have zero survival skills, prompts most owners to keep them as indoor cats. If you want to know more about this breed, we found some great facts on Burmese Cat Club and Cat Time. These little critters are very active and playful, and Burmese owners will be familiar with the “mad half hour” – a period in the day where their little furry friend can be found tearing madly around the house; flitting up and down the stairs, running a slalom around chair and table legs and flipping somersaults. It’s normally at the time of day where you’d appreciate a period of calm – when you first get up, or when you’re off to bed. source

Tips on looking after a cat with Diabetes.

It is never easy hearing the news that your cat is suffering from diabetes. Many of us understand that it is a life-long condition that requires careful monitoring, and you may be worried that your pet will suffer complications as a result. However, the good news is that it can be managed effectively with the right diet and medication – under the watchful eye of your vet of course. Feline diabetes occurs when the body cannot produce insulin, a hormone that converts sugar (glucose) into energy. As it develops over time, the condition can be difficult to spot but extreme thirst is a common sign so it is worth noting if your kitty is heading to the water bowl more often than usual. Other symptoms include weight loss, tiredness and changes in appetite, but in extreme cases it can lead to ketoacidosis. This occurs when the body breaks down the fat reserves, resulting in a build-up of acid, which can cause severe dehydration and weakness. If you suspect diabetes, it is important to speak to your vet straight away because treatment is more effective if it is caught early. Diagnosis is relatively simple and involves taking a urine sample to find out how much sugar they have in their blood. Luckily, if it is caught early enough, feline diabetes is easy to manage and many cats enjoy a better quality of life once the symptoms have been alleviated. You should always try to book regular check-ups with the vet to ensure the condition is not getting worse. more


8 WAYS MILLENNIALS ARE DEFINING PET OWNERSHIP. A quick glance at pet celebrity megastars like Boo, Lil Bub, Pudge, Tardar Sauce (better known as Grumpy Cat) and Tuna, makes it quite clear that something entirely new is happening in the world of pet ownership. The rise of celebrity pets may not necessarily be news to anyone, but it points to larger, more significant trends in how millennials understand and approach pet ownership. We talked to some of the people on the front lines of contemporary pet culture to see how they’re redefining pet ownership. 1:) Redefining Family Millennials are putting off getting married and having children until much later than older cohorts, and it seems that their four-legged companions are filling the gap. According to a Wakefield study, the average millennial gets a first pet at the age of 21, much earlier than the average boomer, who waited until 29. Both groups think of pets as family, but many millennials view owning a pet as preparation for future adult responsibilities. For them, pets offer both companionship and a sense of duty, but require little maintenance at a time when many millennials’ lives are still unstable. For many young people who are struggling to start careers, find affordable housing and pay off student loans, a family is a luxury that has to be temporarily delayed. 2:) Pampered Pets Pet owners today are more sensitive to the life experiences of their animals. Millennials cater more than other groups to their pets’ comfort, and spend more money on non-essential pet items. They own more pet clothing and toys and prefer enclosures like crates and kennels that allow for exercise, according to the Wakefield study. “[Our cats] sleep in our beds and we spend a lot of money buying them toys we think they’ll like,” says Christina Ha, co-founder of Meow Parlour, New York City’s first cat cafĂ©. Her guests – predominantly millennials – come to admire a bevy of free-more You will also like this

Dogs; Millennial ‘pet parents’ pay up for dogs to get ritzy human services.

Millennial ‘pet parents’ pay up for dogs to get ritzy human services. When shoe designer Vanessa Noel brought home two poodle puppies recently, she knew she had her hands full. Left to their own devices, the brothers would no doubt make short shrift of prized designs, not to mention the furnishings, in her Upper East Side home. “I’m a terrible disciplinarian,’’ the 55-year-old said. “They’re divine little dogs, but they can’t be chewing on my shoes or alligator bags.’’ Her solution: Lexi Beermann, who whips puppies into well-mannered shape in one week of boot camp. The cost is a cool $4,600, with the option of adding ongoing maintenance for $8,000 per month. Beermann either moves into a dog owner’s home for the week, or brings the pups to live with her.“I’m like Mary Poppins for dogs,” the trainer, 39, said. “I’m off to Jamaica for a week, and Lexi will live in my house and take care of Rasta and Reggae,’’ added Noel. “When I come back they shall have Park Avenue manners Actress Carol Kane, who lives on the Upper West Side, keeps her dog pain-free with the help of Trish Dean, who charges $75 for a chiropractic visit and $100 for a massage. “She is treating my rescue, Johnny. After a session he is relaxed and able to move around more easily,’’ said Kane. “I treat anxiety, aggression, fear and depression,’’ said the Brooklyn doc. “Most depression involves dogs being left alone, and is often associated with separation anxiety.’’ He charges $650 per case, which usually includes one visit as well as follow-up phone calls. more

How to use modern dairy heat detection systems .

Modern heat detection systems, which monitor cow movement and activity levels, do work according to the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise’s (CAFRE) Dr David Mackey. Increasing numbers of farmers will now inseminate cows on the back of the data they are picking up from their heat detection systems, he said. “But it is also important to use the traditional method of observing cows throughout the day.”Mackey confirmed that heat detection rates are traditionally higher in exclusively spring calving herds than on units where cows are calving the year round. more

Bowery farming.

Agriculture heads indoors with new farming startup Bowery Farming.The term “farmer’s tan” may soon lose all significance, as the ancient art of cultivation moves indoors. A startup called Bowery Farming has caught the attention of investors and food experts alike, and as the urban farming industry grows, so too do these new companies’ wallets. Bowery Farming has just raised $7.5 million to help grow more food inside, even within a city. It’s all contingent upon some pretty snazzy technology, including robotics, LED lighting, computer vision, sensors, and data analytics, TechCrunch explains. At the heart of Bowery’s operations is what it calls “post-organic vegetables.” Basically, all of the company’s produce are grown sans pesticides and depend upon a high-tech

Music help farmers raise quality chicken.

Taiwan's government has introduced methods developed in Australia and New Zealand to allow chickens to listen to music throughout the day, which is said to help locals raise top-quality chickens. This method has been used in different countries to boost production, in Australia a farmer has incorporated classical music into his poultry routine to boost production in the farm. Music help farmers raise quality chicken, this new innovation can work for all types of poultry see A chicken farmer in Yunlin County, Taiwan, was struggling with the high cost of chicken feed. Earlier he received assistance from the government in the form of music piped in to serenade the 40,000 chickens in their coops for 3-4 hours during feeding time. The farmer stated that he noticed the positive effect the music was having on the chickens in just a short period of time. In the past, he said, it took over 90 days to grow a chicken to a weight of 3 kg. The period shortened to 80 days after they introduced the music, which means savings of over NT$100,000 in feed costs for each batch of chickens. Additionally, the owner said that not only do both the cocks and hens exhibit even temperaments, but the chickens even produce better meat. Moreover, they are sold out when they hit the market. The birds also received certification for the chickens' being raised with music and sold without pharmaceutical residues. Their popularity has even prompted Singaporean buyers to request them. The farmer said that on the trip he made to New Zealand and Australia in 2007, he discovered that pigs and cows that had been treated to music there were larger than those that weren't. This is becoming so popular that Universal Music Group was reportedly hired to put together a compilation of tunes, and airing the music at the chicken farms here has been a complete success. more

15,000 farmers to benefit from Dangote’s rice project in Sokoto.

15,000 farmers to benefit from Dangote’s rice project in Sokoto. Aliko Dangote, the Chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, says 15, 000 farmers would benefit from the first phase of his rice growing and processing project located in Goronyo town in Sokoto State. 15,000 farmers to benefit from Dangote’s rice project in Sokoto. Mr. Dangote said this on Wednesday when he addressed journalists at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto. Mr. Dangote said: “In the first phase, we are targeting 15,000 farmers and as time goes on, we will keep on increasing the number of beneficiaries as the project progresses. continue

Friday, February 24, 2017

10m Nigerians to taste Indomie free.

10m Nigerians to taste Indomie free. Indomie Instant Noodles has revealed its intention to reach 10 million Nigerians in this year’s annual sampling exercise. It said in a statement that the programme will see millions of consumers taste the noodles for free across the country. Speaking on the free sampling programme for the year, Brand Manager, Indomie Instant Noodles, Mr. Amber Yadav said: “Indomie is using this exercise to remind consumers of how quality taste like. We know things are hard at the moment but people should always remember that there is no price tag that can justify inferiority.” He revealed that the sampling exercise will include all variants of the noodles and this will be carried out in all geo-political zones in the country with special focus on Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Owerri and Enugu among others.more


ATOPIC DERMATITIS.The arsenal of treatment options for dogs with atopic dermatitis is expanding. It includes corticosteroids, which have been around the longest, as well as Cytopoint, which gained FDA approval at the end of 2016. It is extremely important to note that not all drugs are created equal, and you should not use the same treatment option for each patient. This article reviews the major systemic drugs for atopic dermatitis used in everyday practice. Corticosteroids have been used for decades and have withstood the test of time. Corticosteroids are non-specific in their mechanism of action, since corticosteroid receptors are in every cell. Side effects of corticosteroids are well known. They can be great at decreasing the inflammation associated with atopic dermatitis, but long-term treatment is not recommended. I use them regularly for short courses to battle flare ups in patients that were well-controlled otherwise. My steroid of choice is commonly Temaril-P due to the anti-inflammatory effects, while using less than half the amount of steroids in an anti-inflammatory dose. The side effects can be less significant with Temaril-P. Atopica is the veterinary microemulsified formulation of cyclosporine, which has been available for about 16 years. Atopica mainly affects T cells. The most significant side effect observed is gastrointestinal, with up to 40 percent of patients experiencing this side effect in some studies. I advise owners to give it with a meal instead of on an empty stomach, which brings the prevalence of gastrointestinal upset among my patients to about 5 percent. continue

Rabbits: Good As Pets, Good For Business.

Rabbits: Good As Pets, Good For Business. Breeding rabbits is steadily gaining popularity for several reasons. For instance, rabbits can be brought up in whatever type of environment, whether it is a city, suburb or country, and they easily fit into most family set up. A rabbit makes for a low-maintenance, friendly family pet and is a fine size creature for kids as well as adults to take care. Additionally, it does not cost a lot of money to get rolling with rabbits — this project would suit most family budgets. While proper gear adds to the success of raising rabbits, it is more significant for your gear to be functional instead of being fancy. more

High livestock prices not stopping upgrades as abattoir targets overseas markets.

High livestock prices not stopping upgrades as abattoir targets overseas markets. High livestock prices are forcing down the number of animals being processed by abattoirs. In Victoria's north-west, one facility is reporting a 30 to 40 per cent reduction in the number of sheep and cattle it is processing. Woodward Foods produces many of the livestock it slaughters — sometimes half the animals going through a facility originate from the family business's farms. But with high prices for livestock, keeping up the supply is a challenge. Despite the downturn, the business's Swan Hill Abattoirs is working to upgrade its facility and undertaking what it describes as a cultural change in its workforce. General manager Mick Bird said the facility had undergone a rebrand and was selling meat into domestic and overseas markets, promoting the company's paddock to plate story. He said current conditions were a challenge, but branching into foreign markets such as the United Arab Emirates, USA and China should enable the business to keep improving. more

Canada offers beef irradiation as another tool for food safety.

The government of Canada’s announcement this week of changes to its food and drug regulations to permit irradiation of ground beef was not a surprise. It was a long time coming, though, with industry having requested the change in 1998. Canada has already approved radiation to treat potatoes, onions, wheat, flour, spices and seasoning preparations. The United States has permitted the irradiation of fresh and frozen ground beef since 1999. More than 60 countries permit irradiation of various foods to kill pathogens and/or pests. Health Canada published the new regulations on Wednesday. Canadian officials said the government views the technology as another tool for use by the beef industry in improving food safety. Irradiation is not intended to replace existing food safety practices for handling, storage and sanitation. It’s purpose is to complement those practices. Irradiation reduces levels of harmful bacteria, such as E, coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter, as well as preventing premature spoilage, and extending shelf life. It does so by exposing food to energy with ionizing radiation. Health Canada found that ground beef subjected to irradiation retains its nutritional values, taste, texture and appearance. Irradiated foods must carry a both a written description and the Radura symbol. If not packaged, Canada requires the information be made available at the point of sale. continue

Dogs Help Researchers Unlock Genetic Links to Human Disease.

Dogs and people may suffer from similar psychiatric and neurological diseases, from canine compulsive disorder (thought to be similar to human obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD]) to canine cognitive dysfunction (similar to human dementia). Researchers are hoping that by analyzing doggy DNA, they may uncover genetic links to these conditions that could help shed light on both canine and human variations of disease. The project, called Darwin’s Dogs, is currently gathering data from thousands of dogs. Owners answer detailed questionnaires and send in a saliva sample, which will be used to collect the dog’s DNA. The researchers then plan to analyze the DNA samples and compare each dog’s genetics to its behaviors. Dogs have played a role in the discovery of genes linked to human diseases like epilepsy, narcolepsy and OCD. OCD in dogs (known as canine compulsive disorder), for instance, can manifest as repetitive tail chasing or licking an area of the body so obsessively that it causes a wound (although obsessive licking may also be caused by gastrointestinal disorders) more

Agricultural robot may be 'game changer' for crop growers, breeders.

A semiautonomous robot may soon be roaming agricultural fields gathering and transmitting real-time data about the growth and development of crops, information that crop breeders—and eventually farmers—can use to identify the genetic traits in plants likely to produce the greatest yields A team of scientists from the Carle R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois is developing the robot in partnership with researchers from Cornell University and Signetron Inc. Inspired by the autonomous rovers used to search collapsed buildings and other dangerous environments, the agricultural robot is propelled on continuous tracks, or miniature tank treads, which enable it to navigate through dry or muddy fields. Researchers guide it using GPS and a laptop computer. continue

IoT as a solution for precision farming.

IoT as a solution for precision farming. Understanding a natural intelligence is the most systematic way of developing the internet of things. We know that each single-celled organism tries to survive. They usually follow the rule of “do the right thing at the right time.” In reality, IoT solves the same simple problem for communication points that agriculture intelligence has tried to solve for many years: precision farming. Different machines, animals and plants on different fields try to communicate with each other, as well different IoT devices. If we were to try to use IoT in a large scale in the agriculture industry, we would have to build a suitable large architecture. Low-energy networks can provide connectivity only on one site and often do not exist in remote areas. This means the communication with the combine on the field will be always insecure. Because of need for large-scale investigation and reduced maintenance efforts, cellular connectivity could be the right means of communication for modern farmers. Smart precision farming The United Nations predicts an increase in world population to over 11 billion by 2100. All of these people will have to be fed. Farmers face a set of challenges: an increasing worldwide demand for food, a changing continue

10 Common signs of stress in dogs.

Research shows that stress can affect a dog's health and longevity. According to one study: "There is evidence to suggest that the stress of living with a fear or anxiety disorder can have negative effects on health and lifespan in the domestic dog." An example: When your dog is under stress, his body releases an excessive amount of norepinephrine, the fight or flight hormone, which can alter gut bacteria and interfere with GI tract motility. Next thing you know, your dog has diarrhea, which just adds to his stress level (and yours), especially if he has an accident in the house. Some dogs primarily experience short-lived stress, but others deal with chronic stress. The more you know about what triggers your pet's stress, how he behaves when he feels stressed and what stress can do to his health, the better equipped you'll be to identify the signs and take action to minimize or eliminate stressors. According to the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) 2009 Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine, there are 10 common signs of stress in dogs: 1. Nose/lip licking 2. Yawning 3. Panting 4. Reduced or absent appetite 5. Diarrhea 6. Tail lowered or tucked 7. Ears pulled or pinned back 8. Cowering/crouched body posture and/or hiding 9. Trembling/shaking 10. Increased vocalizations — whining, howling or barking more

Fruit and veg: For a longer life eat 10-a-day.

Eating loads of fruit and vegetables - 10 portions a day - may give us longer lives, say researchers. The study, by Imperial College London, calculated such eating habits could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths each year. The team also identified specific fruit and veg that reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease.The analysis showed even small amounts had a health boon, but more is even better. A portion counts as 80g (3oz) of fruit or veg - the equivalent of a small banana, a pear or three heaped tablespoons of spinach or peas.The conclusions were made by pooling data on 95 separate studies, involving two million people's eating habits. Lower risks of cancer were linked to eating: 1) green veg (eg spinach).2) yellow veg (eg peppers) 3) cruciferous vegetables (eg cauliflower). Lower risks of heart disease and strokes were linked to eating...more

Fasting diet 'regenerates diabetic pancreas'.

Fasting diet 'regenerates diabetic pancreas' The pancreas can be triggered to regenerate itself through a type of fasting diet, say US researchers. Restoring the function of the organ - which helps control blood sugar levels reversed symptoms of diabetes in animal experiments. The study, published in the journal Cell, says the diet reboots the body. Experts said the findings were "potentially very exciting" as they could become a new treatment for the disease. People are advised not to try this without medical advice. In the experiments, mice were put on a modified form of the "fasting-mimicking diet". It is like the human form of the diet when people spend five days on a low calorie, low protein, low carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet. It resembles a vegan diet with nuts and soups, but with around 800 to 1,100 calories a day. Then they have 25 days eating what they want - so overall it mimics periods of feast and famine.Previous research has suggested it can slow the pace of ageing. But animal experiments showed the diet regenerated a special type of cell in the pancreas called a beta cell. These are the cells that detect sugar in the blood and release the hormone insulin if it gets too high. Dr Valter Longo, from the University of Southern California, said: "Our conclusion is that by pushing the mice into an extreme state and then bringing them back - by starving them and then feeding them again - the cells in the pancreas are triggered to use some kind of developmental reprogramming that rebuilds the part of the organ that's no longer functioning." There were benefits in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the mouse experiments. Type 1 is caused by the immune system destroying beta cells and type 2 is largely caused by lifestyle and the body no longer responding to insulin. Further tests on tissue samples from people with type 1 diabetes produced similar effects. Dr Longo said: "Medically, these findings have the potential to be very important because we've shown - at least in mouse models - that you can use diet to reverse the symptoms of diabetes.more

Wired cages in poultry farms killing hens in India.

A new survey has revealed that Wired cages in poultry farms are killing hens in India. Small-wired cages being used in poultry farms are killing hens in India, according to a five-month-long survey conducted by Pune-based NGO Animal Equality. Taking note of the survey, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) plans to issue show-cause notices to poultry farms using such cages, known as battery cages..Each cage has a 67-sq inch space, which is less than a single sheet of paper measuring 94 sq inches. A survey of 20 poultry farms on the outskirts of Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, Hyderabad and Haryana by between August and December 2016 revealed confining hens in such cages not only leads to a number of deaths, but also leaves them bleeding, with sores, cracked and deformed feet owing to the wired floor of the cages. Some of them were also found to be missing feathers and suffering from abrasions and skin irritations. continue

Marvel Games declares war on homogeneity.

Marvel Games' creative director Bill Rosemann used his DICE keynote to urge games companies to focus on inclusiveness and diversity. Like Jeff Kaplan's Overwatch keynote yesterday, Rosemann chose to use the DICE 2017 theme of "world building" as an opportunity to celebrate inclusivity. Taking Marvel's history of creating great superheroes as his central narrative, he called on developers to step up. "We can create worlds that affect others," he said. "When you go back to your studios and your teams and it's time to make decisions about the worlds you build, be like Spider-Man and realize the power we have and use it wisely. Be like Captain America and do the right thing." more

This drum-like keyboard lets you type in virtual reality.

This drum-like keyboard lets you type in virtual reality like a boss. Independent VR developer Jonathan Ravasz has built a nifty keyboard functionality for virtual reality experiences that lets you type without having to let go of the controllers. The PunchKeyboard is fundamentally a visual input interface that lets you use the joysticks to type in VR. While visually it resembles a typewriter, the app has been enhanced with autocomplete and next-word prediction functionalities to further simplify the typing process. The predictive feature currently sources data from Reddit conversations, but Ravasz assures it can be easily filled up with custom dictionaries too. Here’s a little video demo that will give you a better idea how the PunchKeyboard works: more

LlamaZOO to Unveil World’s First Virtual Reality Canine Dissection .

LlamaZOO to Unveil World’s First Virtual Reality Canine Dissection at 2017 Western Veterinary Conference, Las Vegas. LlamaZOO Interactive Inc. (LlamaZOO), developers of world-leading 3D veterinary anatomy software EasyAnatomy, will for the first time ever be enabling users to explore the intricacies of canine anatomy in virtual reality (VR). LlamaZOO has chosen the 2017 Western Veterinary Conference, one of the largest annual veterinary conferences in the world, as the venue to unveil this breakthrough in veterinary medicine. “We’ve made tremendous leaps in EasyAnatomy’s development this year, adding the complete nervous and circulatory systems along with animated pathologies” said LlamaZOO co-founder and CEO Charles Lavigne. “It’s all lined up to make WVC the ideal place for us to demonstrate our medically accurate 3D canine in VR for the first time.” EasyAnatomy is currently available on tablet, laptop, and desktop devices, and since its preliminary launch last summer has been adopted by veterinary practitioners, students, and educators all over the world. LlamaZOO’s aim is to help veterinarians have more engaged, informed, and effective conversations with clients about their pet’s health, and the recent addition of animated pathologies to EasyAnatomy makes this even easier.more

Thursday, February 23, 2017

NIRSAL to launch $300m agribusiness loan project for young farmers.

Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), an arm of the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced plans to launch a $300 million agribusiness loan project for young farmers across the country. According to the Executive Director of NIRSAL, Babajide Arowosafe, the project known as ‘Youth Enable’ is to be financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and would begin within the next few weeks with the aim of creating a successive farmers generation to replace the ageing ones. continue

How to turn cassava root to various foods.

Alex Otieno, who had stayed for five years without a job now earns Sh480,000 every year after finding the magic in cassava root which he has been adding value to and making nutritional porridge, crisps and snacks. “I had no idea that the cassava root I always perceived as food for people living in abject poverty could be used for making affordable crisps, doughnuts, chips ,snacks, nutritional porridge and even ugali”, said Mr Ombuto. Since he introduced the idea to Kisumu residents, commercialisation of cassava has been tremendously gaining popularity and many entrepreneurs and farmers are embracing the root and its products.more

Contact tracing and targeted insecticide spraying can curb dengue outbreaks.

Contact tracing -- a process of identifying everyone who has come into contact with those infected by a particular disease -- combined with targeted, indoor spraying of insecticide can greatly reduce the spread of the mosquito-borne dengue virus, finds a study led by Emory University researchers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The results were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and based on analyses from a 2009 outbreak of dengue in Cairns, Australia. The new approach of using contact tracing to identify houses for targeted insecticide spraying was between 86 and 96 percent effective in controlling dengue fever during the Cairns outbreak, research shows. By comparison, vaccines for the dengue virus are only 30 to 70 percent effective, depending on the type of virus or serotype involved.

Heavy Drinking Linked to Increase Heart Disease Risk in Men.

A new British study has shown that men who drink more than a pint of beer a day over several years may increase their chances of heart disease by prematurely ageing their arteries. Beer is not the only culprit, moreover. Regular heavy consumption of wine, spirits, liqueurs and even cider can produce the same harmful effects. The finding comes from a University College London study, which suggests that drinking can affect the elasticity of arterial walls, interfering with blood flow. While alcohol consumption did not appear to have the same effect on women, the researchers pointed out that 73 percent of the 3,869 participants in the study were men. The findings of the study, which were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, build on previous studies that have linked heavy alcohol intake with high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, certain types of cancer, accidents and suicide. The link between alcohol and reduced arterial elasticity was found when researchers examined the drinking habits of participants between the ages of 30 and 60 over a 25-year period. The volunteers reported the number of glasses of wine, pints of beer or cider, and measures of spirits or liqueurs consumed in the week preceding each assessment of their arteries. The scientists then compared the participants’ alcohol consumption with measurements of the main arteries in their necks and thighs. According to Dr Darragh O’Neill, an epidemiologist and lead author of the study: “Heavier alcohol intake may activate certain enzymes that would lead to collagen accumulation, which could in turn exacerbate the rate of arterial stiffening. more

Venom From A Caribbean Sea Snail Offers Long Lasting Pain Relief .

The venom of a small snail native to the Caribbean could be used to develop a completely new way of treating chronic pain, according to researchers.The venom of the Conus regius sea snail, which is normally used to paralyze or kill the snail’s prey, also contains a compound that seems to offer long-lasting pain relief. The compound was still working and still blocking pain three days after being administered in experiments with rats. According to the American research team, the findings meant that it may be possible to create a new pain therapy for patients who had exhausted all other options. Opioids, which are the medicines most commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain, work by reducing the perception of pain. They do this by attaching to specific proteins in the brain and organs of the body, called opioid receptors. A compound known as Rg1A works in a different way using a new pathway. Scientists from the University of Utah, writing in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said the compound appeared to have a beneficial effect on parts of the nervous system. This, in turn, could open the door to new opportunities to treat pain, they said. The researchers added that drugs that worked in this way could reduce the use of opioids, such as morphine, which are addictive and can cause a number of serious side-effects. This new compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent pain from developing in the first place and offers a new therapy to patients who have run out of options. In research on rats, scientists found that pain was experienced by those animals treated with a chemotherapy drug that caused them to be hypersensitive to cold and touch. Those also treated with the snail compound did not experience pain and the relief was long lasting, moreover. more

5-year-old girl attacked by dogs is dead .

5-year-old girl attacked by dogs is dead . Aliyah, the 5-year-old girl attacked on Monday by 3 dogs in Lagos has died. She passed on at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Wednesday evening. She had been transferred from the Ikorodu General Hospital, where she was first admitted. Punch had reported that Aliyah was sleeping at home on Alhaji Abdul Hakeem Bin Sulaimon Avenue, off Ewuren Road, Ikorodu, when an Alsatian dog broke loose. The dog, named Rover, was one of the15 other dogs owned by the landlord who is based in London, United Kingdom. It dragged Aliyah to the back of the house where two other Alsatian dogs joined it in attacking her. They inflicted multiple injuries on her body in an attack residents said lasted for about two hours. The father, Wasiu, who was responsible for the care of the dogs, had reportedly gone to buy the dogs’ feed when the incident happened. Around 11pm of that day, some residents reportedly invaded the house and killed Rover. more

Radioactive boars found in Czech forests 31yrs after Chernobyl disaster.

Radioactive boars found in Czech forests 31yrs after Chernobyl disaster. Radioactive wild boars have been detected in Czech forests, some 31 years after the Chernobyl disaster, a veterinary administration official said, adding that they are eating mushrooms that can absorb high levels of radioactive isotopes. The animals became radioactive due to false truffles, the underground mushrooms they feed on, Jiri Drapal at the Czech State Veterinary Administration told Reuters. The mushroom is found in the Sumava mountain region in the Czech Republic, which borders Austria and Germany. It can absorb high levels of radioactive isotopes, including Caesium 137, which was released in great quantities after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Caesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years, which means it loses half of its radioactivity within that period. When boars eat radioactive mushrooms, they become radioactive themselves. Boar meat is highly popular in the Czech Republic, so there’s danger of radioactive meat ending up on one’s table.more

The Challenges for Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture.

The Challenges for Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture. A group of maize farmers stands huddled around an agronomist and his computer on the side of an irrigation pivot in central South Africa. The agronomist has just flown over the pivot with a hybrid UAV that takes off and lands using propellers yet maintains distance and speed for scanning vast hectares of land through the use of its fixed wings. The UAV is fitted with a four spectral band precision sensor that conducts onboard processing immediately after the flight, allowing farmers and field staff to address, almost immediately, any crop anomalies that the sensor may have recorded, making the data collection truly real-time. In this instance, the farmers and agronomist are looking to specialized software to give them an accurate plant population count. It’s been 10 days since the maize emerged and the farmer wants to determine if there are any parts of the field that require replanting due to a lack of emergence or wind damage, which can be severe in the early stages of the summer rainy season. At this growth stage of the plant’s development, the farmer has another 10 days to conduct any replanting before the majority of his fertilizer and chemical applications need to occur. Once these have been applied, it becomes economically unviable to take corrective action, making any further collected data historical and useful only to inform future practices for the season to come.more

Techie who extols benefits of organic milk.

Techie who extols benefits of organic milk.Techie sets up farm not just to supply milk, but also to breed the best bovines. Just like his love for IT profession, his passion for organic milk is unadulterated. He doesn’t want to milk profits from his supply, but purely believes in maintaining the purity of nature’s gift to mankind. No wonder this IT professional with a comfortable job in the United States has set up an organic farm not just for supplying healthy and unadulterated milk but also to breed the best bovine in the country. “To maintain purity we grow fodder on the 9 acres farm on the outskirts of the city for the 150 animals consisting of 70 cows and 80 buffaloes,” says Kotesh Mukkamala, an IT professional in the USA. On the eight acres of the 9 acres land, he cultivates green fodder recommended by NG Ranga University to feed the animals year round. The remaining acre is used for housing cattle, staff and other infrastructure. As the grass grown in the cities is produced in the drainage segregation area and is infested with synthetics and human waste here only ground and rain water is used. Cultivation is pesticide and chemical fertiliser-free. Diet of the animals is balanced with the right quantities of protein and fodder. more

Teenager who 'died' after being bitten by stray dog WOKE UP on way to his funeral.

Teenager who 'died' after being bitten by stray dog WOKE UP on way to his funeral.A teenager believed to have died after being bitten by a stray dog WOKE UP on the way to his funeral. Kumar Marewad, 17, left family, friends and locals in complete shock with his sudden revival. The boy had come down with a high fever after the dog bite and his condition deteriorated after being brought to hospital in the Dharwad area of India. Doctors had told relatives to expect the worse as an infection had spread throughout his body. After hours on a life support machine, Kumar's family decided to take him home for his final moments, the Times of India reports . According to Kumar's family, including parents Ningappa and Manjula, he eventually stopped moving or breathing for some time and they presumed he was dead.They had asked villagers to prepare for his funeral and had carried Kumar two kilometres when he suddenly opened his eyes, started breathing and moved his hands and legs. The teenager was rushed to hospital where he remains on a ventilator. Dr Mahesh Neelakhantannavar said: "We suspect he suffers from meningoencephalitis, an infection caused due to dog bite." Kumar's parents expressed relief at his apparent recovery and told how he had given up school to support his family. more

China orders drivers to fit GPS trackers to their cars so Muslims can be monitored using central computer.

A region of China is ordering every motorist to install a GPS tracking device so authorities can monitor the movements of Muslims. The "police state" policy is designed so officials can keep a closer eye on the Uighurs, a minority Muslim group the Government says is being radicalised by foreign jihadists. Anyone who fails to comply with the GPS rule will be refused access to petrol stations and will be unable to sell their vehicle. The draconian rule was imposed in the Bayingolin Mongol, a self-governing region of north-west China in the province of Xinjiang. Drivers have until the end of June to install the Beidou navigation system in their cars at a cost of £25 a year. more

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Farmer left dumbfounded after birth of quadruplet heifer calves.

A farmer in north Co. Clare was left dumbfounded after a cow gave birth to four identical heifer calves over the weekend. Tom Clair from Ennistymon found the calves early on Sunday morning, February 19. He spoke about the excitement surrounding the now famous calves on Clare FM this morning.more

Bird flu affecting half of China: ‘controllable’ but may spread.

Bird flu affecting half of China: ‘controllable’ but may spread further.National health commission puts provincial authorities on alert as the country grapples with its worst outbreak of the deadly bird flu strain. Chinese health authorities have issued stern warnings over the H7N9 bird flu outbreak in the last two days, admitting the situation had already affected half of the country and could lead to even more fatalities. Since January, human deaths and infections from H7N9 have been reported in 16 provinces and municipalities, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.While the situation was still “preventable and controllable”, the COMMISSION WARNED in a statement on Tuesday that if the situation was not tightly controlled the virus could spread further. The virus had killed at least 87 people by February 12, including 79 in January. It is the highest death toll since the first known human infection in 2013, and most of the cases have been in the Pearl and Yangtze River delta areas. In the previous three years, January’s death toll had ranged between 20 and 31. The commission’s statement came one day after it warned provincial health authorities across the country, including Xinjiang and Tibet, of the risks of the latest H7N9 outbreak. Local authorities were ordered to make “utmost effort” to contain the disease and minimise deaths. The World Health Organisation said there were no signs of sustained human-to-human transmission in bird flu cases this year, but it would remain “vigilant” over the puzzling outbreak in which affected poultry did not show any symptoms more

Leptospirosis outbreak in dogs.

Veterinarians have issued a warning about a serious bacteria outbreak that could kill your dog. The bacteria is called "Lepto-spirosis" or "Lepto" for short. It infects dogs by burrowing into their skin. Then, it spreads throughout the dog's body. The bacteria can also be transmitted to humans.More cases of the bacterial infection are being found in Chicago, especially in the Lake View area. Leptospirosis is spread through rats and if left unfound, can be deadly for dogs. “While we're all super excited about 70 degree weather, it is sort of the perfect storm for Leptospirosis exposure,” said Dr. Natalie Marks of Blum Animal Hospital. Doctor Marks says there's been an uptick of dogs being tested for and contracting Leptospirosis – a bacterial infection spread by the urine of rodents.more

Home remedies for ear infection in dogs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

How to use radio-wave energized water to boost agriculture.

A GROUNDBREAKING new Irish technology which could be the greatest breakthrough in agriculture since the plough is set to change the face of modern farming forever. SHARE The technology – radio wave energised water which massively increases the output of vegetables and fruits by up to 30 per cent. Not only are the plants much bigger but they are largely disease-resistant, meaning huge savings in expensive fertilizers and harmful pesticides. Extensively tested in Ireland and several other countries, the inexpensive water treatment technology is now being rolled out across the world. The technology makes GM obsolete and also addresses the whole global warming fear that there is too much carbon dioxide in the air, by simply converting excess CO2 into edible plant mass. Developed by Professor Austin Darragh and Dr JJ Leahy of Limerick University's Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science, the hardy eco-friendly technology uses nothing but the natural elements of sunlight, water, carbon dioxide in the air and the minerals in the soil. The compact biscuit-tin-sized technology, which is called Vi-Aqua – meaning 'life water' – converts 24 volts of electricity into a radio signal, which charges up the water via an antennae. Once the device is attached to a hose, thousands of gallons of water can be charged up in less than 10 minutes at a cost of pennies. Speaking about the new technology, Professor Austin Darragh says: Vi-Aqua makes water wetter and introduces atmospheric nitrogen into the water in the form of nitrates – so it is free fertilizer. It also produces the miracle of rejuvenating the soil by invigorating soil-based micro-organisms. more

How to detect fake malaria drugs.

A new device that uses similar infrared light to TV remotes can accurately detect fake antimalarial drugs, according to a scientific paper published on Monday. The researchers revealed how they were able to use an optical scanner purchased online for $250 to distinguish perfectly between life-saving malaria drugs and deadly counterfeits. Dozens of public health scientists declared in 2015 that a global crisis of fake drugs was undermining the fight against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids, particularly in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates that falsified medicines represent more than 50% of the pharmaceutical market in several African countries. Ineffective antimalarial drugs alone killed over 120,000 preschool children in Africa in 2013, according to research from the Center for Disease Dynamics. Wilson’s team, together with researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), set out to design an easy-to-use, portable scanner that almost any charity or rural pharmacy could afford. Many fake drugs are almost indistinguishable from the genuine products, even down to convincing anti-counterfeiting holograms on their packaging. Testing the drugs currently requires laboratory tests with machines costing many thousands of dollars, operated by skilled technicians. continue

Malaria vaccine made from mosquito saliva.

The National Institutes of Health is recruiting volunteers for a safety study of the experimental vaccine, being developed by two London companies. They need 60 people willing to be bitten by mosquitoes to test a new kind of vaccine, one that acts against the bugs’ saliva. Rather than separate vaccines against Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases, this new approach aims to protect against multiple infections by triggering the immune system to act in response to the bite itself. Researchers at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will give volunteers either vaccine or dummy shots. The volunteers must return later to NIH’s Bethesda, Maryland, hospital to be bitten by mosquitoes through a special netted device. The mosquitoes are infection-free; researchers will track the volunteers’ immune responses.more

Agriculture in Africa : investment opportunities.

Africa’s economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. More than 32% of the continent’s gross domestic product comes from the sector. Agricultural productivity still remains far from developed world standards, as over 90% of agriculture depends on rainfall, with no artificial irrigation aid. The techniques used to cultivate the soil are still far behind from what has been adopted in Asia and Americas, lacking not only irrigation, but also fertilizers, pesticides and access to high-yield seeds. Agriculture in Africa also experiences basic infrastructural problems such as access to markets and financing. A broader economic transformation is necessary to shift the current paradigm facing agriculture in Africa. In most of the cases, urbanization and economic growth have resulted in new opportunities for local agricultural producers. However, in Africa, this share of the market mainly belongs to foreign companies. Imports of food staples have been rising sharply, and domestic agriculture has so far failed to increase supply in response. Raising productivity in agriculture is vital to transformative growth, not just because it has the potential to expand markets by displacing imports, but also because agricultural growth is twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in non-agricultural sectors. Singapore is proving to be an engaged ally in the process of changing this reality. Some big players in the agricultural sector with their headquarters in Singapore, are investing heavily in Africa. Technology and skills are being transferred to smallholder farmers and the large-scale producers are cooperating, playing a fair game that will help develop the sector and make it more sustainable.more

Monday, February 20, 2017

How to use the Pod3 modular GPS tracker.

The Pod3 modular GPS tracking device can be attached to anything, allowing you to keep tabs on its whereabouts using your smartphone. One of the biggest fears of any pet owner is having their animal escape and get lost outdoors, potentially never to be seen again. But two years ago, a small start-up out of Sydney, Australia, created a device called the Pod to protect against just such an occurrence. The Pod is a GPS tracking device that can be attached to your pet’s collar, allowing you to track their location right from your smartphone. Pod Trackers, the company behind the Pod 3, has managed to pack a lot of technology inside this tiny device. Not only does it come with GPS capabilities, but it is also equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 2G/3G cellular networking features too. This gives the user the ability to track the gadget in real time, both indoors and outdoors, across 175 countries worldwide, using an app for both iOS and Android. what sets the Pod 3 apart not only from the company’s previous generation of Pod trackers, but from the competition as well, is its modular capabilities. The gadget has been designed to accept a number of special modules that snap into place along one end. These modules add functionality to the device beyond its tracking capabilities. For instance, one module converts the tracker into a light and location strobe, while another is an extended-life battery that allows the Pod 3 to continue functioning for up to two weeks between charges. Other modules include a USB dock to keep the GPS working at all times and an ultrasonic speaker that emits a “discreet, high frequency noise” designed to keep birds away. Those last two modules are made to be used on a boat, car, or other vehicle. continue

Solar glass to boost agriculture.

Western Australian scientists have developed what is believed to be a world-first clear, energy harvesting glass which, if used in greenhouses, could produce crops in any climate or season. The glass is embedded with nanoparticles which work to draw out 90 per cent of the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared rays from the sun, and transfer those rays to solar cells embedded on the edge of the glass panels. The rays are converted into energy, while allowing 70 per cent of visible light to pass through. The energy harvested is used to power the structure, for example providing lighting, heating, cooling, or water desalination and irrigation. The technology has been developed at Edith Cowan University's Electron Science Research Institute (ESRI) in Perth. Director of the institute, Professor Kamal Alameh, said being able to convert unwanted radiation into electricity could be a huge cost-saver in greenhouses. "In a closed environment you don't need a lot of water, so you don't need a lot of energy to filter the water if you have underground water.You also don't need a lot of cooling and heating because we use these thin-film coatings to actually block the unwanted radiation so that we can save on the energy used for cooling and heating. Professor Kamal said due to its designed self-sufficiency, there are no limitations to where such a greenhouse could be built, which could see agricultural production in areas currently too hot or dry to produce crops. "If you have underground water that's all we need to basically produce a crop," he said. The technology has been developed in collaboration with ClearVue technologies. continue

GPS-on cows to track and stop theft.

It is a crime evoking bushrangers and cattle duffers of old, but stock theft has become a modern crime and researchers are hoping to find a technological solution. A team from Central Queensland University (CQU) in Rockhampton believes a motion-sensing GPS device may hold the clue.The device detects mustering activity and sends a message to a grazier's phone. Researchers hope it might hold the answer to reducing livestock theft which, according to the 2001/2002 National Farm Crime Survey, affected 6 per cent of farms at an estimated annual cost of $16 million. Project leader Associate Professor Mark Trotter said preliminary trials had been promising."The core technology already exists so things like GPS tracking and motion-sensing tracking [are] a little bit like a fitbit that you see people wearing," Dr Trotter said. continue

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Mechanization and agribusiness.

Mechanization is an essential tool for success of agribusiness as it improves productivity and profits farmers. Farmers need to embrace the role of farm machinery if they are to be successful,but many smallscale farmers are yet to imbibe the emerging farming technologies and machinery. Factors, such as the high cost of machines and farmers’ lack of access to finance, make the machinery unaffordable for resource-poor farmers. Farmers are calling for a change, one of them is Debo Thomas, a large scale farmer in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. His community has a strong agricultural tradition – nearly two-thirds of its population are farmers. Though he uses agricultural machinery to plant and harvest crops, he is among those canvassing the introduction of cheap, easy-to-operate and easy-to-maintain tractors that can be fitted to a various innovative auxiliary equipment for planting, threshing and irrigation.continue

How to grow Africa with agribusiness.

This highlights the great potential of the agribusiness sector in Africa by drawing on experience in Africa as well as other regions. The evidence demonstrates that good policies, a conducive business environment, and strategic support from governments can help agribusiness reach its potential. Africa is now at a crossroads, from which it can take concrete steps to realize its potential or continue to lose competitiveness, missing a major opportunity for increased growth, employment, and food security. The report pursues several lines of analysis. First, it synthesizes the large body of work on agriculture and agribusiness in Africa. Second, it builds on a diagnosis of specific value chains. As part of this effort, the value chain for Africa's largest and fastest-growing food import, rice, is benchmarked in Senegal and Ghana against Thailand's rice value chain. 170 agribusiness investments by the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) in Africa and Southeast Asia are analyzed to gain perspective on the elements of success and failure. Fourth, the report synthesizes perspectives from the private sector through interviews with 23 leading agribusiness investors and a number of other key informants. more

How to grow lettuce without soil and make millions.

This is the story of how a graduate grows 10 million heads of lettuce without water. In the University of Arizona, Jenn Frymark helped develop a greenhouse for extreme weather and then spent six months at the South Pole growing food for scientific researchers. Now she grows 10 million heads of lettuce and other greens year-round, without soil, in considerably more benign conditions inside greenhouses in New York and Chicago. She said her business, Gotham Greens, has been a success since she joined partners Eric Haley and Viraj Puri in growing greens hydroponically on a rooftop in Brooklyn in 2011. She’s certainly one of the most successful graduates as it relates to business development. The center, known as CEAC, is training the next generation of farmers for an urban agriculture revolution, researching ways to improve efficiency, taste and freshness in everything from lettuce to mushrooms. Giacomelli is planning to extend it to wine grapes. Frymark said the skills she learned there are key to her business success and she still calls the center for technical advice.more

Pest control with pheromones.

Lokesh Makam is a pharmacist with more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector. Over the years, he has held leadership roles in marketing, regulatory compliance, R&D and contract manufacturing. Makam initially manufactured and sold anti-cancer products, but upon realising that chemical pesticides in crops and food were a cause for cancer, he set to researching alternatives to control pests. This effort led to identifying, developing and converting the alternatives, called pheromones into products to control these pests. In India alone there are over 6,369 known insect species that destroy crops, resulting in a near 23.3-percent loss, at an estimated loss of $17.28 billion. Eradication of chemical pesticides requires education at the grassroot level with farmers on the harmful effects on farmers who administer the chemical pesticides, the residue of which finds its way to our plates. The use of pesticides has widespread side effect on the environment and surroundings, most critically on the farmers using them. With no efficient, sustainable and economical solution, the farmers have been treating chemical pesticides as the go-to solution for decades, ever since the industry was started.continue

The Government Purged Animal Welfare Data,But This Guy Is Publishing It.

An Arizona man who has published thousands of animal welfare documents on his website since the government purged the once-public information is pledging to keep digging up data until federal officials reverse course. Russ Kick, a 47-year-old writer and anthologist, said he immediately sprang into action last week when the U.S. Department of Agriculture suddenly pulled from its website a slew of papers regarding animal welfare at thousands of facilities across the country. Since then, he has made public again more than 10,000 documents, and thousands more are set to hit the web soon. For nearly a year, Kick has been running a website called, where he has re-published information wiped from several agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. His only goal, he said, is to increase transparency and make important government documents more easily available.continue

Why you should eat beans.

Beans are nutritional powerhouses packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and are low in fat.Beans contain a wide range of cancer-fighting plant chemicals, specifically, isoflavones and phytosterols which are associated with reduced cancer risk. Beans provide the body with soluble fiber, which plays an important role in controlling blood cholesterol levels. Beans will fill you up more quickly, because the rich fiber content fills your stomach and causes a slower rise in blood sugar. This will keep off hunger pangs longer and give you a steady supply of energy. Beans are diabetics super-food,because the balance of complex carbohydrates and protein provides a slow, steady source of glucose instead of the sudden surge that can occur after eating simple carbohydrates. Eat beans to stay fit,healthy and keep off excess weight.

Weight loss with cucumbers

Cucumbers are nutrient packed and can also be a route for easy weightloss. Learn how to lose weight with ease,

Health Benefits of Cucumbers.

Cucumbers belong to the same plant family as squash, pumpkin, and watermelon and like watermelon, cucumbers are made up of 95% water, which means eating them help you stay hydrated. Cucumbers contain vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese,they also contain polyphenols and other compounds that may help reduce your risk of chronic diseases especially for cancer treatment. Cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that play an important role in brain health. In addition to improving your memory and protecting your nerve cells from age-related decline, fisetin has been found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer's disease. Cucumbers may help the inflammatory response in your body, and animal studies suggest that cucumber extract helps reduce unwanted inflammation, in part by inhibiting the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes (including cyclo-oxygenase 2, or COX-2). Cucumbers contain numerous antioxidants, including the well-known vitamin C and beta-carotene. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids, such as quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol,6 which provide additional health benefits. quercetin is an antioxidant that prevents histamine release,thus making quercetin-rich foods "natural antihistamines." Kaempferol, may help fight cancer and lower risk of chronic diseases including heart disease. Cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin). B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. Cucumbers contain potassium, which is associated with lower blood pressure levels. A proper balance of potassium both inside and outside your cells is crucial for your body to function properly. Cucumbers are very low in calories, yet they make a filling snack. The soluble fiber in cucumbers dissolves into a gel-like texture in the gut, slowing down digestion, this making you feel full longer and help with weight control. Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), which help to lower the risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancers. They also contain phytonutrients called cucurbitacins, which also have anti-cancer properties.

A Veterinarian Just Found The Cure For HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Maduike Ezeibe, a Nigerian professor of Veterinary Medicine, recently announced that he has discovered a drug that treats and cures HIV/AIDS.A researcher in veterinary medicine at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture in southeast Nigeria, Professor Ezeibe developed the drug after years of dogged scientific research,reports Bellanaija. Professor Ezeibe told a press conference at the university’s campus that the drug was produced using the minerals aluminum silicate and magnesium silicate (synthetic aluminum-magnesium silicate).Ezeibe said the two minerals “are already in use as medicines for the treatment of various animal and human diseases” and that 10 volunteers were treated daily with the medicinal synthetic aluminum-magnesium silicate (50mg/kg),” adding that the volunteers undergo periodic testing to ascertain their viral loads and CD4-lymphocyte counts. With the antiviral effects of the medicine — its ability to reach all cells (as nanoparticles) and the lymphocytes — there is no more hiding place (sanctuary) for HIV,” Dr. Ezeibe said. Dr. Ezeibe says he presented his research findings to the World Virology Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2015 and Antonio, Texas, in 2016, and his research work has been published in several international scientific journals, including the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research. more

Climate Change Is Transforming the World's Food Supply.

Climate change is poised to affect the world's food supply in three key ways. There will be impacts on the quantity, quality and location of the food produced, according to Dr. Sam Myers, a medical doctor and senior research scientist studying environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Researchers studying climate change are looking at how the biological and physical changes happening on Earth due to climate change will transform food production, Myers said at a talk today (Feb. 16), here at the Climate & Health Meeting, a gathering of experts from public health organizations, universities and advocacy groups that focused on the health impacts of climate change.more

Friday, February 17, 2017

2 Sisters Turning Cocoa Beans into Chocolate Bars in Ghana..

Priscilla and Kimberly Addison, two Ghanaian sisters, have launched a start-up that offers tasty, artisanal, made-in-Africa chocolate products.Even though Ghana is the world’s second largest exporter of cocoa, the West African nation — along with the rest of the major cocoa producers from Africa — only gets to enjoy a measly 2 percent of the world’s $100 billion chocolate market. This, economic experts say, is due to the fact that African countries have remained at the bottom of the product’s value chain, exporting cocoa mainly as a raw material without adding value to the final product. According to the Addisons, though, that old narrative is about to change with their ’57 Chocolate. As young entrepreneurs, they say they are determined to use widely available home grown resources to create delightful and whimsical treats and bring manufacturing back to Ghana. continue

3D printing to redefine the medical supply chain in Africa.

African organization ReFab Dar are hoping to use 3D printing to create vital medical supplies in Africa and other developing countries. In order to do so they are working on a number of initiatives including a design competition for 3D printed medical tools. The program’s main aim is exploring, “how plastic waste can power entrepreneurship using 3D printers in Tanzania.” ReFab Dar are currently recycling waste and turning it into 3D printable plastic filament. From this, they intend to create medical supplies, farming equipment and even research tools like microscopes. In this ‘Hack 4 Health’ challenge they are focused initially on the creation of HIV prevention and birthing equipment.continue

Gene therapy treats muscle-wasting disease in dogs.

The muscle wasting disease arises from a mutation in genes that normally make a protein, called myotubularin, essential for proper muscle function. Puppies with this naturally occurring mutation exhibit several features of babies with the same defective gene. The rare disorder, called myotubular myopathy, or MTM, affects only males. Puppies with this naturally occurring, fatal genetic mutation and babies with the same defective gene have several similar symptoms. Four collaborating research groups in the United States and France found a way to safely replace the disease-causing MTM gene with a healthy gene throughout the entire musculature of affected dogs. The findings published online in Molecular Therapy ,reports that diseased dogs treated with a single infusion of the corrective therapy were indistinguishable from normal animals one year later. Gene therapy holds the promise to treat many inherited diseases. To date, this approach has not been widely translated into treatment of skeletal muscle disorders.

Family gave pet plastic surgery to look like dog from The Mask.

A family has been criticized after they took their dog for plastic surgery because they didn’t like the shape of its ears. Vets were asked to lower the Jack Russell’s ears because they wanted it to look more like the dog from The Mask. Marina Esmat, 37, from Russia, bought the puppy for her son but they noticed that his ears were growing upwards. The family used weights and glue to try and keep them down, but when that failed they opted for plastic surgery instead. more

Girl, 7, born with heart outside her chest .

Girl, 7, born with heart outside her chest hoping for operation.A seven-year-old girl who was born with her heart outside her chest is heading to the US in hope of having a life changing operation. Virsaviya Borun-Goncharova suffers from thoraco-abdominal syndrome or Pantalogy of Cantrell, which affects just five in a million people.Her parents were told when she was born to prepare for the worst but the Russian has defied the odds. Now she is moving to the US where she will take medication to lower her blood pressure that, if successful, will allow to have a life changing operation.more

How to make money with a 3D printer.

According to a study at Michigan Technological University, a RepRap 3D printer pays for itself within the first 5 years after purchase. 3D Printing Industry asked one of the academics behind the research a few questions. The average consumer can also make up to 1000% return of investment with a 3D printer by using it to print household goods instead of buying them outright.continue

11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep.

11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep,,=passive income.Is your money making money while you sleep? Does it sound too good to be true? Since we still live in the age of the internet, it’s not that difficult to earn extra money on the side. Sell your own information product. If you’re knowledgeable in a certain area, then you can start creating products, such as eBooks or videos, and selling them on your blog. It may take a lot of work to create and market your products, but once all the leg work is over, you can just set back and collect the proceeds. Earn royalties. If you’re a talented musician, actor, or author, then you could earn royalties from your work. In other words people will pay you for using your work or creative assets.If you aren’t talented enough, but still interested in earning royalties, then check out Royalty Exchange. It’s a marketplace where you can buy and sell royalties. Another common online business model is using autoresponders to sell services, products or memberships. This is where people leave their email address on your site and then they’ll receive an automated email containing the link to download products or quality information you have to offer, as well as follow-up with a series of emails. continue Y

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DNA Testing Saves a Dog from Death Row.

A young Belgian Malinois from Detroit already had an incredible story when he went from homeless pup to service dog. But just months after his rescue, a misunderstanding threatened his new life. It would take a test usually reserved for humans to prove his innocence. Jeb was barely a year old when he was found chained inside a shed last January. His owner had passed away and no one else in the family wanted him. When Jeb was taken in by a local dog rescue, volunteer Kandie Morrison thought he’d make the perfect service dog for her father, Kenneth Job. Kenneth, a 79-year old Air Force veteran struggling with a neurodegenerative disease, took an instant liking to Jeb. So neighbor and veterinarian Dr. Karen Pidick trained Jeb to help Kenneth stay steady and assist in helping him get up if he fell. Kenneth and Jeb came to rely on each other, but eight months later everything changed in an instant. One August morning, the Jobs’ neighbor of 30 years, Christopher Sawa, looked out his kitchen window and saw Jeb standing over the lifeless body of his Pomeranian, Vlad. Christopher ran outside and tried to give Vlad mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but it was too late. With 90-pound Jeb towering over 14-pound Sawa, you can see why Christopher might blame Kenneth’s dog. Animal control took Jeb into custody and the case went to trial. The Jobs were horrified. Jeb lived peacefully with their three other dogs, seven cats, and a coopful of chickens. "We've never had any children," Kenneth would later testify. "The dog was like a child to us." Kenneth had been outside with his dogs that morning when all four pups ran off toward a favorite swimming hole. Despite the fact there was a lack of physical evidence linking Jeb to Vlad’s death, and there were reports of other possible culprits, the judge ruled that Jeb met the legal definition of a dangerous animal. Jeb would have to be euthanized. The Jobs were desperate and came up with the idea to have testing done to compare the DNA in Vlad’s wound with Jeb’s DNA. Samples were taken and sent to the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida. They determined that the DNA did not match, proving Jeb wasn’t the dog that killed Vlad. After the test, Jeb was allowed to go home, but nine weeks in animal control turned him in a different dog. Jeb lost 15 pounds and his social skills. He was also afraid to go outside. Nonetheless, the family was relieved to have Jeb back home. However, the Jobs wondered why they had to come up with the idea of DNA analysis. Why didn’t the court do it before sentencing Jeb to death? The test was under $500, but canine cases are handled differently in our judicial system. "In a criminal prosecution, where you're putting a person in jail, we have the highest level of protection," explains law professor David Favre. "Dogs have no rights. They're property.” I don’t think courts will make DNA analysis automatic anytime soon, but the Jobs hope their story will make more people aware that this tool can save lives. source