Search This Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Delivering social services through veterinary care.

The idea of social service alongside veterinary care is a new concept that is fast gaining ground and its a great "One Health" initiative concept. A group called called WisCARES is pioneering this concept,they realized there were all these people that had pets, but that had trouble accessing the veterinary care they needed. There were reasons why they were having difficulty getting that care, from homelessness to poverty. The organization has taken off and is now part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. The focus is now a “one health” initiative, trying to support people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, and trying to keep their pets with them. In keeping in touch with these people through their pets, the school is also partnering with the school of social work and the pharmacy school as it’s looking at not only the health of animals, but also people who need help in the community. People think of veterinary medicine as different from human medicine but people who might be on the fringes of society,may not trust a social worker but they’ll trust their veterinarian. This relationship will give the opportunity for them to get the care they need. Its all about the human-animal bond,after a hard day, it’s your animal at home that can make everything better.source

I-N-S-P-I-R-E 2016.

This is an out-of the-box post,but its just one of those things that grabs your attention and you cant shake off. This last day of 2016,thinking back on all that happened,hurdles scaled and opposition destroyed,the picture just sealed it for me. Today i just hooked up to the Inspire channel 109 and watched the Bishop TD JAKES talk show ,he had Tyler Perry and believe me it was so on-point.The struggles, the dark moments and the can-do it-all spirit,i sat up on my sit and said to myself, its all part of the journey. The Bishop's closing remark just nailed it,the madness,the chaos you are in right now is part of the process,actually the fertilizer that nurtures the seed in you to blossom and show fruit on the outside. Its about digging down in you and bringing forth,knowing you have what it takes. This is a toast to 2016,i rocked everyday with grace and moved up and now to 2017 WELCOME ON BOARD,as i have what it takes.This is a shout- out to all the hardworking, never-say-never people,2017 is the bomb.

Friday, December 30, 2016

The impact of land use and landscaping on disease spread.

Disease spread has been linked to land use,landscaping and agricultural practices as the aggressive use of land for various purposes is extending the reach of infectious agents,allowing colonization in new areas thus increasing spread of infection. Deforestation is not only contributing to climate change but creating an avenue for movement of more wild animals into contact with man and domestic animals and livestock,thus creating a cycle of infection which is shorter and also of economic importance. A recent research shows buttress this fact , In China the progress fighting schistosomiasisis recorded for over a century is being jeopardized by land-use patterns and landscape connectivity, which are expanding the range of the snails that host Schistosoma japonicum parasites as villages with more irrigation channels were more likely to both attract new and retain native Oncomelania snails. Justin V. Remais, PhD, MS, associate professor of environmental health services in the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases that distances traveled by snails over a few generations in this study are comparable to the dispersal of other vectors, such as the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, and the dengue vector Aedes aegypti. According to Remais and colleagues, control measures have led to a decline in the number of cases of schistosomiasis in China from 11 million in the 1950s to approximately 115,000 today.However, they noted that the range of Oncomelania snails has expanded and the disease has re-emerged in some areas of the country. Oncomelania snails release larval forms of S. japonicum parasites into fresh water, where humans can be infected. Remais and colleagues sampled 833 Oncomelania hupensis robertsoni snails from 29 villages in Sichuan Province and used gene sequencing to determine their migration patterns.Between 14.4% and 32.8% of the snails sampled from the sites were new to their location within one or two generations — snails infected with S. japonicum have an average estimated lifespan of 171 days — and there was evidence of migration between sites up to 44 km apart, Remais and colleagues said. Snail populations in 20 of the 29 sites contained more than 20% migrants. Analyzing the results with different models findings showed a significant correlation between land use patterns and snail populations. The researchers found that irrigation channels made villages more likely to both attract migrant snails and retain native snails, and villages that used more land for agriculture were more conducive to migrant snails.

Energy 4 impact empowering women with solar energy.

In a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp but with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. With help from nonprofit organization Energy 4 Impact, Julius is using solar power to grow her business and launch new ventures — and it’s benefiting her whole community. But three years ago, Julius secured a $500 bank loan to buy solar lanterns, which she sold to customers. With the additional income earned, she then sought another larger loan to expand her tailoring business to include a barber shop, mobile phone charging facility and a consumer goods shop, all powered with solar energy. Julius success story started after training from Energy 4 Impact, a London-based non-profit group that works in East and West Africa to improve access to energy. One focus of the group's work is lifting rural women from poverty through clean-energy entrepreneurship. The group's new WIRE (Women Integration into Renewable Energy) value chain project aims to assist 400 women solar entrepreneurs by 2020 with training and finance, and help some of them provide 360,000 people in Kenya and Tanzania with access to clean cooking and solar lighting products. The programme is part of the Partnership on Women's Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER) launched by the U.S. State Department in 2013. Julius said business management and technology training through the project was key to helping her scale up her business and her income,with nothing to complain about. She said virtually everybody in the village is happy with what they are doing and their services are exclusively solar. Source

A strain of bird flu detected in Ireland.

A strain of bird flu has been found in Ireland. Tests on a wild duck from Co Wexford confirmed the presence of avian influenza subtype H5N8, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed.The bird, a widgeon, was found alive but unable to fly on December 28, in Wexford town.No infection of a human has ever been recorded by H5N8, however it presents a serious concern for farmers. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said it can cause serious disease in poultry and other birds.The department said the detection was not unexpected, as there had been infections of a "highly pathogenic" variant detected in Great Britain in the last two weeks. Last week, Agriculture Minister Michael Creed introduced regulations under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 requiring the compulsory housing of poultry as a result of the increased threat. Further tests are being carried out to determine whether the virus found in Ireland is the same highly pathogenic strain that is currently present in Great Britain and mainland Europe. continue

Thursday, December 29, 2016

How to make money hatching eggs.

The very first factor to consider when you are planning to venture into poultry business is quality of your stock,hence your day old chicks must be procured from reputable hatcheries. The introduction of new viable stock into the market will expand stock population but also increase revenue for the farmer Starting off,identify the breed you desire to invest in and then look for viable breeders with proven records. Select eggs from breeders that are (1) well developed, mature and healthy; (2) compatible with their mates and produce a high percentage of fertile eggs; (3) are not disturbed much during the mating season; (4) fed a complete breeder diet; and (5) not directly related [brother, sister, mother, father, etc.]. Hatchery is the major operation of hatching fertile eggs to produce day-old-chicks commonly referred to as D.O.C. which is the foundation stock. If the D.O.C are not viable then the whole process of poultry farming is in jeopardy.The source of the breeder stock must be sure and proven to ensure success.The hatchery operation may be large scale or small scale depending on the size of the incubator. This incubator is a box-like apparatus used to hatch fertile eggs and the success is dependent on temperature,humidity and ventilation and turning. The incubator types see Producing D.O.C with good breeder stock is important and stocking density is usually 1:10 that is a cock to a hen,so with 1000 hens you need 100 cocks,these are mixed in the deep litter house to produce the fertile eggs. The fertile eggs are collected,disinfected and stored in the fumigation room,before taking them to the setter incubator.The purpose of fumigation is to ensure the eggs are free from pathogens and the fumigation is usually carried out using carbolic acid or potassium permanganate. The eggs that are to beset are selected based on size,shell thickness, cleanness and lack of any deformity such as misshaped eggs e.t.c. The eggs are transferred to the cold room with a temperature of 100 F and relative humidity of about 60% for 7 days. On the 8th day the eggs are put in the setter incubator for 18 days with 60% humidity and eggs are turned manually or automatically every 3 hours. The eggs are removed from the setter after 18 days for candling,this process is to remove the fertile eggs from infertile ones. The fertile eggs are then set into the hatcher incubator where they will be for 3 days. Eggs must hatch and lively chicks come from the shell,these are then vaccinated and ready for sale.

Breeding goats for profit.

Planning is fundamental for the success of any endeavor,thus breeding goats for profit is not an exception. The breeding season is important in the calendar of the farmer as this is the platform that will make or mar his investment. Goat breeding can be for meat or for milk ,the foundation stock is very important here. Goats chosen as foundation stock must be from proven stock with good genetic traits that the farmer wants to potentiate on the farm and defiantly disease free. Goats to be bred must be in good health condition, no lameness,anemia,weakness, ectoparasites and definitely no orchitis. An important factor that affects profitability in a goat operation is the kidding process and this involves anything from birth weights to growth to efficiency. The breeding season is a critical time so that we insure not only that does get pregnant, but ensure they also produce twins by ensuring high conception rates. The buck must have been checked for breeding soundness,the physical parameters are important. The buck must be steady with good stamina,and good body conformation. The size is another factor, fat or lean bucks can service does effectively. The size,shape and texture of scrotum and testicles are important, testicles should be firm but without lumps or abscesses which is a sign of trauma or ongoing infection. The size of scrotum is very key in breeding as the scrotal circumference is related to the semen volume and hence sperm viability.The greater the scrotal circumference ,the higher the semen volume and hence viability of sperm. The quality of semen is important,this is collected and checked prior to selection for breeding.The semen must have large numbers of healthy sperms with great motility. The does must also be checked for size,structure,physical conformations and weight as overtly fat does usually have low conception rates. The profit margin in production can be spiked by twining,this can be achieved by maintaining a nutritional plan for the does. Does are given balanced,nutritious diets prior to breeding and several weeks after to ensure the sustainability of pregnancy and birth of healthy kids.The nutritional status of does if inadequate could result in weak kids,kids with low weight or even death of kids. There is also a spill over effect on the quality and quantity of colostrum,prolonging the weaning age of the kids and spending more money to prop them up,hence cutting into projected profits. A farm with perfect bucks and does with excellent body condition,health status and nutritionally advantaged can actually spike profits by ensuring twining on farm,thus getting more kids for the price of one. A proven buck with good genetic traits can have the semen used on various farms if semen evaluation is positive,this means a buck may not be on site in the farm but the semen can be available via artificial insemination.

Harmful effect of feeding dogs a raw-meat diet.

Pet owners need to be informed of risks, otherwise there becomes room for potentially harmful pet food diet beliefs if knowledge is not shared on the issue. Many pet owners believe giving a raw-meat diet to dogs is safe and in the best interest of the dogs,however this is not the case as some fatal cases have been linked to this practice. Food poisoning is the major risk here,dogs are usually ill from consuming spoilt,rancid ,tainted or contaminated meat leading to vomiting,diarrhoea and in severe cases death from dehydration. Raw meat also acts as host of certain parasite thus causing severe infection.Feeding raw meat also alters the behavioral pattern of most pets as experienced has shown that they tend to be more aggressive an vicious ready to attack and bite. Feeding raw meat to pets not only has health implication for the pets but the owner as well.The nutritional requirements of pets cannot be fully supplied by giving raw meat diet,thus nutritional deficiencies are common in such pets. A balanced diet is essential for growth ,development and effective functioning of systems in the body.

3D Printing Technology As Treatment Protocol For Arthritis.

Arthritis is becoming more rampant than ever, listed as the number one cause of disability and affecting over 50 million Americans, which is project to grow to around 67 million by 2030. The word arthritis is essentially defined as ‘joint inflammation’, and is an overarching medical term that describes around 200 rheumatic diseases that negatively impact the joints, surrounding cartilage, and connective tissues. 3D printing technology is helping patients to overcome it,as 3D printing has been used on numerous occasions to help enhance arthritis treatment.A 3D printing expert from the University of Waterloo produced a printer capable of 3D printing bone-like structures from calcium polyphosphate and last year, a number of assistive arthritis tools were 3D printed to ease certain tasks for those with the disease. Randy Clark, a doctor from the Utah-based Coral Desert Orthopaedics of St. George, detailed how improved 3D printing technology has led to better treatment methods for arthritis. Thus far, 3D printing is already capable of assisting in treating the most common form of the disease, which is osteoarthritis in the knee, generally caused by worn-down joints from overuse or abuse. There are a number of self-prescribed treatments to help alleviate this type of arthritis, such as exercise, staying healthy, and keeping the muscles around the joint strong. But some may require surgery at some point, which is where 3D printing technology has started to come into play. The use of patient-specific 3D printed implants help and surgeons believe that those suffering from arthritis could have more joint motion, less overall pain, and maybe even a quicker recovery. All of these benefits come at about the same cost as traditional implant methods, but did require a fair amount of trial-and-error to get right.

Arthritis becoming more prevalent with age, but technology keeps up from KCSG.com on Vimeo.

3D Scanning and 3D Printing Reveal the Evolutionary Roots of Joint Pain.

A study in University of Oxford by researchers shows how evolution may be responsible for some painful and aggravating conditions many of us currently face, especially as we get older. The Oxford Orthopedic Evolutionary Group was formed by Clinical Lecturer Dr. Paul Monk, Zoology Professor Fritz Vollrath, and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Science Dr. Jonathan Rees. The group’s research studies the evolutionary origins of human bones, how they turned into the skeletal structure we have now, and the ways in which they may be responsible for orthopedic problems today. According to the researchers recurring or chronic joint pain that seems to come from nowhere such as back problems and knee issues are everywhere, afflicting people seemingly without regard to size, diet or level of physical activity. The reason for this, according to the Oxford researchers, may go all the way back to when humans began walking on two legs – apparently our bodies didn’t adapt to it as well as they should have. Looking backwards involved taking CT scans of 224 ancient bone specimens located at the University of Oxford, London’s Natural History Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Those scans, which were taken not only from humans and hominids but primates, dinosaurs and other animals, were used to create a library of 3D models, which the researchers studied and compared to track the changes in the shapes and structures of single bones over the course of millions of years. One thing that they discovered was that the “neck” of the human thigh bone appears to have started growing thicker around the time humans started standing on two legs, which makes sense as the thigh bones would need to adapt to support the extra weight. Unfortunately, the thicker the femoral neck bone, the likelier it is that arthritis will develop – a good explanation for why so many adults suffer from hip pain. If the human body continues to evolve in the same trajectory as it has for millions of years, the femoral neck bone will continue to get thicker, leading to more cases of arthritis. The researchers used the 3D models to 3D print the “skeleton of the future,” using a mathematical algorithm to predict how human bones will continue to change shape, and if their predictions are correct, it’s not just the hips that will develop worsening problems. The study also found that a gap in the shoulder, which allows tendons and blood vessels to pass through, has been growing narrower over time, which would account for the pain that some people have when they lift their arms over their heads. source

How to use data to breed and promote disease resistance in ruminants.

The uses of data in agriculture and agribusiness is growing by the day from normal monitoring of animal production,to epidemiology,to animal tracing and product tracking to now disease resistance.Breeding programmes for ruminant benefit largely from data,data analysis and interpretation as this gives an accurate projection of production status and hence profitability of venture. Food security can be achieved if modern techniques are injected into agriculture with respect to breeding genetically superior breeds and species. Data analysis not only simplifies the work of the farmer it also cuts costs and extends productivity of animals on the farm. The use of data on farms has gone a step further by promoting health and productivity of farm animals. Parasites in farm animals are a major cause of of losses and farmers strive to keep internal and external parasites at bay,now farmers are using Estimated Breeding Values (EBV) data generated through the National Sheep Improvement Program, to help promote genetic resistance to parasites. EBVs are calculated by making comparisons, or rather genetic linkages, between not only related animals in one flock, but also by looking at those genetic linkages with related animals in other flocks. Through these linkages, producers can then make selection decisions for a number of different traits. This multi-trait selection can often include traits that may or may not be visually evaluated. Parasite resistance would be one of those traits that would incorporate both visual and non-visual appraisal. When selecting breeding animals, the goal is to select those genetics to be passed to the next generation of the sheep flock. When you only select on phenotypic traits, those you can visually assess, you are not able sort out the difference between how much of this trait is affected by genetics compared to how much of this trait is affected by the environment now the, EBVs can take the guesswork out of the visual appraisal. The most accurate method to assess parasite resistance in an individual sheep is through the use of an EBV for worm egg count.The EBV for parasite resistance is based on worm egg counts (WEC) that are recorded at weaning, early post-weaning or late post-weaning time-frames. Animals that have a low or negative WEC EBV can be expected to have more resistance to parasites than animals with higher EBVs for WEC e.g if you want to choose between a ram with an EBV of -20 and one with an EBV of 2 for worm egg count, you should consider the ram with the -20 EBV over the other ram. Producers who raise sheep in temperate climates where internal parasites have a large effect on growth and performance can find this EBV very beneficial. According to NSIP’s fact sheet “NSIP EBV Notebook” research suggests that post-weaning WEC EBVs are the most useful genetic indicator of parasite resistance, although studies with Katahdin sheep show that weaning worm egg counts provide useful information on parasite resistance in young lambs. Weaning and post-weaning WEC EBVs are strongly, but not perfectly, correlated. Learn more here and lets start breeding ;see

Antivenom made from nanoparticles could eventually treat bites from any snake.

Different types of snakes produce different types of toxins which means snake bite victims not only need to get a dose of antivenom as soon as possible, but they have to get the right one. Now, researchers report that they have devised nanoparticles that sop up a variety of common venom toxins in test tube studies, a key stride in coming up with the first ever broad-spectrum snake antivenom. The strategy could eventually be used to combat toxins from scorpions, spiders, bees, and other venomous creatures.The lack of such a therapeutic is part of the reason that more than 100,000 people a year die from snake bites, mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia. That’s not the only danger, venomous snakes bite an estimated 4.5 million people every year, nearly 3 million of whom suffer serious injuries, such as the loss of a limb. This is because almost all snake bites occur in rural areas where people lack ready access to a clinic stocked with antivenom and in many cases, victims receive the incorrect antivenom. Producing conventional antivenom isn’t easy. The process starts by injecting an animal, often a horse, with a small amount of diluted venom from a particular snake. The animal’s immune system produces a mixture of antibodies capable of binding to and inactivating the toxins. Blood is then extracted from the animal, and the antibodies are purified and formulated for injecting into bite victims. Conventional antivenoms have several problems, as producing antibody-based antivenoms is time consuming and expensive, making it difficult for drug companies to make money on their sale, says Ken Shea, a chemist at the University of California, Irvine, who led the new work. That has contributed to a recent worldwide shortage. The antibody formulations must also be refrigerated, making them less accessible in the poorest parts of the developing world where they are often needed most.continue

A new vaccine for E.coli in cattle.

A brand new vaccine which is effective at controlling e.coli 0157 – the cattle disease which can prove fatal in humans – has been developed by a team of Scottish scientists. E.coli 0157 is endemic in around 20% of Scottish cattle herds at any one time but does not appear to have any impact on health or productivity of animals. However people who are infected through direct contact with cattle faeces or indirect contact with contaminated water, food or the environment, can suffer severe diarrhoea and in some cases fatal renal failure as a result of toxins the bacteria produce. After a decade of collaboration, staff at the Moredun Institute, the Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College have developed the vaccine which is capable of controlling e.coli 0157 in cattle under experimental conditions. It remains to be seen how it will perform in the field where various strains of the disease may be present. The Moredun is now looking for commercial partners to exploit the vaccine but lead scientist, Tom McNeilly, acknowledges there will be debate over who should be responsible for paying for it.continue

Tech Start-up Designs Solar Tablet for Rural Mozambicans.

Mozambican technology start-up company Kamaleon, has designed a solar-powered mobile computer with touch screen displays and virtual keyboards built on a trailer to provide Internet access to remote areas. Internet access remains very low in Africa, especially in rural communities, inhibiting access to much-needed health education and counselling platforms for health organizations and schools.The Community Tablet is an innovative and engaging way that promotes digital literacy to solve these problems. The Community Tablet offers training on how to use the Internet and its features to community members and the local workforce; the technology and digital literacy contributing to greater effectiveness of civic education campaigns in various communities. It was first launched in Mozambique which has 24 million people without Internet access in November 2016 to support campaigns on various Health and Education initiatives in partnership with governmental and private organisations. It will spread up-to-date messages and interactive lessons that showcase symptoms, prevention and treatment options- replacing the need for leaflet distributions to convey life saving information.more

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Dog price sky-rockets as Ekiti residents turn to dog meat .

Dogs have disappeared from the streets in Ekiti State following rise in the consumption of dog meat by residents, a check has shown. More people have increasingly turned to dog meat for their nutrition in spite of the taboo hitherto associated with the consumption of dog meat in the community. In Ado-Ekiti, Ikere-Ekiti, Ise-Ekiti, Emure- Ekiti, Ikole-Ekiti and Otun Ekiti new dog slaughter slabs have sprung up as the residents devour the meat in homes, restaurants and beer parlours. A resident said no fewer than 20 of such slaughter slabs exist in Ado Ekiti alone. “A good number of beer parlours and relaxation centres now make pepper soup and suya from dog meat. “Because of the high rate of consumption of dog meat, it is now difficult to see dogs on the street and their cost have risen astronomically,” the resident, who craved anonymity said. more

Vegan diet for poultry.

Everyone is turning to veggies to stay fit and healthy,the poultry sector just joined the league. Vegain™ product is the first vegan protein supplement developed specifically for poultry. It provides birds a nutritionally focused blend of vegan proteins and highly digestible amino acids, and works to fill the critical “nutrient potholes” that are commonly found in all-veggie diets. Vegain is a non-soy protein isolate made with a proprietary blend of all vegetable proteins – no whey or egg proteins used. In university research Vegain was proved to: 1)Boost profits by 8¢ per bird over traditional veggie diets 2)Provide highly digestible, all-natural amino acid compounds 3)The all-natural protein sources optimize growth, performance and feed conversion 4) Deliver significant body weight gain compared to the traditional veggie diets more

Faux meat: The protein of the future?

Faux meat: The protein of the future?: Faux meats like the Beyond Burger and other plant-based protein alternatives threaten growth of animal agriculture sectors.

Germany culls 77,000 poultry as bird flu found on farms.

Germany culling some 77,000 poultry as bird flu found on farms The culling of about 77,000 turkeys, chickens and ducks is underway after bird flu of the highly contagious H5N8 strain was found on farms in a major poultry production region in the north German state of Lower Saxony. On three farms where H5N8 was found and three others which had contact with them the culling of 55,000 birds was started over the Christmas weekend and should be completed on Tuesday, the Lower Saxony agriculture ministry said in a statement. The contagious H5N8 strain has been found in more than 500 wild birds in Germany in recent weeks. Outbreaks on farms have been rare after the government introduced tough sanitary rules to prevent infection by wild birds, including orders to keep poultry indoors in high-risk regions. Several European countries and Israel have found cases of H5N8 bird flu in the past few weeks and some ordered poultry flocks be kept indoors to prevent the disease spreading. France has widened high-risk restrictions to the entire country after the detection of several cases of the H5N8 strain. South Korea has mobilized its armed forces to help in its biggest-ever poultry cull as the spread of a highly contagious strain bird flu continued, with another 1.6 million birds ordered to be destroyed in affected areas. more

Genetics,environment and 2-faced births in animals.

A calf with four eyes, two noses and two mouths. Her middle two eyes share a socket. The calf dubbed lucky by owner is believed to be a blessing and the family is doing all to make lucky comfortable. Two-faced births don’t happen only to cattle,as seen in the case of Frank and Louie (also known as FrankenLouie) which was what is called a diprosopus or craniofacial duplication, also known as being a “Janus cat” — a two-faced cat. Janus was a Greek god with two faces, because he was considered to look both to the future and the past. Most Janus cats don’t survive for long. But Frank and Louie lived for 15 years. The Massachusetts cat behaved more like a dog than a cat, according to its owner, and walked on a leash and loved car rides. Darrh Bullock, an extension professor in the department of animal and food sciences at the University of Kentucky, said that calves like Lucky are “extremely rare. He said that Lucky’s two heads are not necessarily a genetic effect, but could have been caused by environmental influences such as hormonal imbalances or some sort of chemical that happened to get into the mother during the developmental stage of the fetus. The 2 headed calf is a result of splitting of the embryo that just doesn’t go very far,as fully splitting the embryo would wind up as identical twins. Jonathan Beever, a professor of genetics, genomics and bioinformatics at the University of Illinois, recently worked on a project, primarily with Angus cattle, on “developmental duplications.” Such duplications appear to be an inherited recessive genetic condition. Beever said a calf in Iowa was born with two heads and lived 16-18 months until it was sent to market.“Even with that condition he was viable,” Beever said. “There are 25,000 different genes that control how an animal develops,” Beever said. “When one of them gets disrupted, that allows things to happen that aren’t normally supposed to happen.” Beever said that Lucky is probably not one of those mutations, “but it gives us insight that something happened during that developmental time period, probably day 18 to 25, during pregnancy and the body decided to develop like that.” excerpts http://www.heraldonline.com/

Antibiotic Cream Could Prevent Lyme Disease.

A research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases found a topical gel containing azithromycin prevented Lyme disease infection when applied twice a day for three days within 72 hours of being bitten by a tick. Of the 1,000 patients bitten by a tick and treated with the gel, none developed Lyme disease while seven people in the placebo group did. In the group receiving a placebo, seven patients contracted Lyme. Discovered in the United States in 1975, the disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks.This has flu-like symptoms such as muscle and joint ache, headache, nausea vomiting and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. When untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. People suspected of having the disease usually have to take a strong dose of antibiotics for a period of three weeks.Prevention is to stay away from tick infested areas,use tick sprays and also ensure pets are tick free by reducing tick population in the environment. Reactions to tick bites also vary in individuals with some cases more fulminating than others,but the prolonged outcome of disease is joint disorders,usually resulting in arthritis,facial paralysis and intermittent pain in bone,muscle,joint and tendons.

Bird flu strikes a veterinarian in cat shelter in New York.

A vet at a New York City animal shelter where cats were infected with a strain of bird flu has also been infected. Although the vet only had mild illness from the virus which was short lived and has resolved completely. The bird flu strain affecting cats in the New York shelter was reported earlier here and the twist to the story is that bird flu rarely infects cats but this strain defiled that and the same strain also infected the veterinarian who had been testing the sick cats, giving him prolonged contact with them. People can and do catch flu from animals — and vice-versa. Pigs commonly both catch flu from people and transmit it. The ongoing occasional human cases of H5N1 bird flu and H7N2 bird flu are traced to poultry markets. The influenza virus is of public health concern because of the ability to mutate and possibility of re-assortment between animal flu and human flu producing a new strain that can be extremely dangerous,although this H7N2 has not recombined . Vets, doctors and other scientists keep an eye on bird flu because it can and does spread to people and has the potential to cause epidemics. So far, H7N2 hasn't. It has only ever infected a few people. . more

Toddler dies from organ failure after being fed raw milk by his naturopathic parents.

According to a coroner in Victoria, Australia, a three-year-old’s death from organ failure was most likely due to his parents allowing him to consume raw, unpasteurized “bath milk.”The Guardian reports that the boy was placed on a “gluten-free and organic diet” in the summer of 2014 under the advice of a naturopathic doctor. The boy’s parents regularly consumed “Mountain View Organic Bath Milk,” which is distinctly labeled “not for human consumption.” As the coroner discovered, the parents sometimes added a small amount to the boy’s drinks. Health officials warn that unpasteurized milk contains pathogens such as campylobacter, cryptosporidium, shiga toxin-producing E coli and listeria.more The consumption of raw milk is deadly and should be avoided, read

Friday, December 23, 2016

Food waste and climate change.

Food waste as insignificant as it may seem,it takes its toll on the environment.Food waste in land fills,contribute to methane emissions heating up the environment. food waste, basically are food that are thrown away before or after it spoils. There are various factors that influence food waste such as 1) color, especially farm produce when individual preferences leads to dumping food even whenits not bad. 2) shape so many throw food away because they believe its shape is not conforming although the food is good. 3) food waste arise largely from taste disparity,many actually buy food expecting it to taste a particular way,and if the taste is not what they imagined,its tossed. Food waste arising from spoilage ,handling and storage problems are major factors at play here but irrespective of how or why the food got in the bin,its warming up the atmosphere. Methane emission generated from food in land fills are contributing to climate change. Methane is about 27 times more potent than carbon at trapping heat. Data has shown that greenhouse gas emissions related to the food supply quadrupled during the last 50 years.

Disease management on farms.

Raising livestock comes with it challenges that must be managed to prevent death of animals and eventual closure of farms. Diseases do spring up at a point in the course of production due to inadequate preventive protocols or not conforming to bio security measures. A healthy animal is a happy animal and also a profitable one. The raising of healthy animals is the goal of every farmer There are measures and protocols that farmers can adopt to make sure that animals are healthy and hygiene is optimal to production. 1) limit exposure to stress; stressors could be heat,cold,inadequate feeding and management practices such as vaccination,castration,debeaking and teeth clipping.Stress is a killer and stress animals are very susceptible to infection,thus preventive measures must be put in place. 2) bio security measure must be tailored according to farm requirement and followed strictly. 3) Hygiene is pivotal to disease management in the farm,cleaning,washing and disinfection of farm tools,implements are important.Waste disposal is an integral part of hygiene,the way waste is handled and managed has an overall effect on disease management on farm. Removal of waste promptly from farm to dump site or incinerator or biogas chamber all addresses level of hygiene on the farm. 4) Animals that are sick on farms must be isolated to prevent animal-animal contact or contamination of feeder,drinker or bedding with secretions such as nasal,oral or fecal .Some animals often shed infective organism in various secretions making them sources of infection for other animals. Animal-animal contact if limited will reduce spread of infection on the farm.

CDC identifies bacteria that killed 3 who ate church meal.

A Thanksgiving Day meal served by a church group in Antioch, CA, that killed three people was evidently contaminated with the bacteria Clostridium perfringens. Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common food borne illnesses in the U.S. It can be found in the human intestine without hurting us, but eating food containing large amounts of this bacteria can cause illness and in some cases death . The bacteria is commonly found in meat and poultry, but thorough cooking kills it. However, extremely small amounts of it can survive on utensils and surfaces and cross contaminate cooked foods. It multiplies very quickly when foods are left at room temperature. “During cooling and holding of food at temperatures from 54 F to 140 F, the spores germinate and then the bacteria grow. … If the food is served without reheating to kill the bacteria, live bacteria may be eaten. The bacteria produce a toxin inside the intestine that causes illness,” according to the CDC. Foods that have dangerous bacteria in them may not taste, smell, or look different. Any food that has been left out too long may be dangerous to eat, even if it looks okay.To prevent the growth of Clostridium perfringens spores that might be in food after cooking beef, poultry, gravies, and other foods commonly associated with Clostridium perfringens infections should be kept at a temperature that is either warmer than 140 F or cooler than 41 F.more

Emerging business opportunities in dairy farming.

The dairy market in Nigeria is wide with an exponential growth with increasing population. Nigeria is one of the the biggest markets for milk consumption as evidenced by the numbers of foreign players in the sector in the country. The annual demand of milk consumption in Nigeria is estimated at 1.7 million metric tons while importation value is placed at 1.2 million metric tons,showing that local production accounts for only about 30% of the demand. The need to bridge this gap has prompted many farmers to sort out ways to boost local milk production,the need to increase locally produced milk is further championed by the government's directive that 10% of the milk should be sourced locally. The dairy industry is plagued by the following constraints and if these are addressed they production capacity will be so high that export will be possible.There production of other by-products such as cheese,butter and yogurt will be increased such that these can also be exported to generate forex. The number one constraint is the breed available in the country,these indigenous breeds are not producing enough milk compared to exotic breeds. Dairy farming is multi factorial relying on several factors to be a success. The success of dairy is connected to breeds,feeding and management practice. When cows are not fed adequate ration and management style is free range,such production style is flawed as the cows cannot thrive and hence cant produce enough milk. Nutrition is key,without a balanced ration,milk production will be low. The management aspect can be traced to breeding, if heat season is missed,or cows are infertile because of one disease or the other,then no pregnancy,no calving and no milk. When cows are mated and the calving is monitored,if calf management is not part of farm practice then calves will be left with dams which invariably will reduce milk yield from the farm as dams will be nursing the calves with milk meant for commercial purposes. The revamping of the industry will be facilitated by 1) introduction of exotic breeds to improve our breed-lines and expand milk production. The white Fulani is known to produce about 10 liters of milk a day as against the Holstein-Friesian with a capacity of about 30-50 liters a day. Breeding with exotic bulls promotes more production and even more calving rates on farm. Artificial insemination is the method used in various countries to improve their breeds,this is also practiced on some farms in Nigeria but the percentage is small such that impact is invisible. Education on improved feeding techniques and management practices will also increase yield and productivity of herd,especially adoption of zero-grazing will turn the scale as it will improve and increase yield. The training on production and innovative branding of by-products will also generate more revenue and make more dairy products available and accessible to citizens as well as export options.The ever increasing population with more demand for dairy and dairy products makes this agribusiness a profitable venture.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Artificial leaf acts as mini-factory for drugs.

A research by Eindhoven University of Technology have come up with a super innovation where artificial leaves mimic natural counterparts to act as mini factory for drug .A 'mini-factory' whereby sunlight can be captured to make chemical products was inspired by the art of nature where leaves are able to collect enough sunlight to produce food. The study reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie,show chemical engineers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) describe their prototype reactor. Chemical engineers have always toyed with the idea of Using sunlight to make chemical products but problem then was that available sunlight generates too little energy to kick off reactions. Nature is able to do this, antenna molecules in leaves capture energy from sunlight and collect it in the reaction centers of the leaf where enough solar energy is present for the chemical reactions that give the plant its food . The use of new materials, known as luminescent solar concentrators (LSC's), that are able to capture sunlight in a similar way as leaves gave the desired result. The special light-sensitive molecules in these materials capture a large amount of the incoming light that they then convert into a specific color that is conducted to the edges via light conductivity. These LSC's are often used in practice in combination with solar cells to boost the yield. The researchers, led by Dr. Timothy Noël, combined the idea of an LSC with their knowledge of microchannels, incorporating very thin channels in a silicon rubber LSC through which a liquid can be pumped. In this way they were able to bring the incoming sunlight into contact with the molecules in the liquid with high enough intensity to generate chemical reactions.

Herbal intervention in dairy farming to curb antibiotic use.

Antibiotic residues in food and milk also have health consequences for humans. In China, a widespread presence of veterinary antibiotic residues was detected in schoolchildren. Long-term exposure to these antibiotics, which may come from contaminated food or water, is connected to obesity. Some antibiotics, such as penicillin and sulfa drugs, also are known to cause allergies in humans, yet these drugs have been found in animal products due to legal or illegal use. The most urgent problem related to antibiotic overuse is the development of drug resistance—when bacteria evolve to become stronger “superbugs” that are able to survive subsequent antibiotic applications. This resistance makes it increasingly difficult to cure bacterial infections in livestock as well as in humans, since many human medicines rely on the same types of drugs being used for livestock. Losing the effectiveness of antimicrobials renders many medical therapies increasingly risky, including organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy, due to the danger of untreatable infection. A common problem on dairy farms—especially large-scale industrial farms—is mastitis, an udder infection that is responsible for 16.5 percent of dairy cattle deaths in the United States. In addition to shortening the cows’ lifespans, mastitis results in the production of lower-quality milk, with lower cheese yield and a shorter shelf life. To address this and other health problems throughout the dairy industry, many farmers apply antibiotics and other anti-inflammatory drugs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, around 90 percent of dairy cows with mastitis in the United States are treated with these drugs. In many other countries, especially in the developing world, antibiotics are sold over the counter, and their use on dairy cows is not measured or recorded. Herbal treatments offer a new mindset for health. Rather than simply replacing the one-shot mechanism of antibiotics, the Ayurvedic application of medicinal herbs (like that of Chinese traditional medicines) acts via a more multi-faceted mechanism, centered on restoring balance and regaining the body’s own resilience to disease. Farmers are turning to medicinal plants in recognition of this underexploited and undervalued holistic approach. To address health risks, the government of the Netherlands announced in 2010 an ambitious goal to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal farming by 70 percent, compared with a 2009 baseline. To maintain the quality of the milk while also reducing antibiotic use, dairy farmers looked around the world for solutions. With the help of a Dutch non-governmental organization, Natural Livestock Farming, farmers found inspiration in India. more

Doctor performs surgery using Whats App.

Doctors are known to work on diverse cases giving hope ,restoring health and saving lives all in the confines of their hospitals or clinics with adequate assistance and drugs. This is an ideal situation where general practitioners have access to specialists when cases are complex and complicated,but what do you do when you are a veterinarian trapped in war zone Syria with lots of cases to attend to? you seek help on Whats App. This is the position of Mohammed Darwish, a 26-year-old dentistry student, a dentist and a veterinarian, whose medical facility is the only one accessible in Madaya at this crictical stage. Madaya, a town of 40,000 in the mountains 25km (15 miles) north-west of Damascus, has been under siege since June 2015, surrounded by the Syrian army and allied fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah group, who are supported by Iran. Movement in and out of the town is tightly controlled. Mohammed Darwish narrates an experience;Mohamed Almoeel was outside his house when he was hit in the abdomen, also by a sniper. Residents say snipers have been active there, shooting at those who venture outside, killing many on the spot. Even mourners at funerals are said to have been targeted. The crew at the clinic tried, again, to get the patient out but, according to Mr Darwish, government-allied fighters would not allow them to leave.The only option left was to operate on him there. "We had no specialist, no anaesthetics. We had to do it, but we didn't know how. So we asked doctors on Whatsapp," he said. Whatsapp groups and Skype networks have been set up by specialists and NGOs inside and outside Syria, in an effort to help medical workers in makeshift clinics like the one in Madaya. The surgeon helping Mohammed Darwish via Whatsapp was in Idlib, a rebel-held city in northern Syria, one of the few remaining strongholds of the opposition. It took Mr Darwish and his colleagues eight hours to operate Almoeel. "The doctors guided us how to do it. During the operation we took pictures of his abdomen, left the room and asked the doctors what to do," he said. "The bullet caused a lot of damage inside his body. We did all we could. But he needed a specialist. We couldn't stop the bleeding. So we closed the abdomen and watched him." When morning came, Almoeel died.The sick kept coming in but, in many cases, there was little that Mr Darwish and his team could do more

Bird flu alert as duck in Llanelli found to be infected.

Bird flu alert as duck in Llanelli found to be infected.The first finding of an infectious strain of avian flu in a UK wild bird has been confirmed in Carmarthenshire. The H5N8 strain found in a wild duck at an estuary near the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) Llanelli Wetland Centre is the same which hit a turkey farm in Lincolnshire last week. The centre said it had closed "as a precautionary measure".Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said the risk to humans was "very low" and poultry was safe to eat.The Welsh Government said it was the first time the H5N8 strain had been found in a wild bird in the UK. Restrictions were imposed across Britain to keep birds indoors after the disease came to light across Europe, the Middle East and north Africa.On Tuesday, the measures were tightened to ban any indoor gatherings of birds at events such as livestock fairs, auctions and bird shows.more

THE DASH DIET AND HEART HEALTH

DASH stands for stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or high blood pressure. The DASH Diet can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is good for your heart.The dash diet will help you lose weight as its a combination of fruits and vegetables and low dairy fat with no sweets. The DASH diet encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. DASH diet, you may be able to reduce your blood pressure by a few points in just two weeks and over time, the systolic blood pressure could drop by eight to 14 points, which can make a significant difference in the health risks. The DASH diet is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.The DASH diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy foods — and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. In addition to the standard DASH diet, there is also a lower sodium version of the diet. You can choose the version of the diet that meets your health needs. more

Common causes of feather loss in chickens.

Feathers on chicken play insulatory role and protection from physical trauma. The insulatory role of feathers is tied to growth and development of birds and also the profit margin of the farmer. Feather loss makes birds susceptible to injuries because of exposed flesh which will result in infections or bruising of the tissues. Feather loss will result in higher energy utilization requirements to maintain body temperature,thus birds with excessive feather loss will require more feed to produce the energy necessary to compensate for the heat lost from the exposed areas.This condition will adversely affect feed conversion and result in greater feed costs as birds will eat more. The common causes of feather loss are as follows; 1) feather pecking and pulling by other members of the flock, which is sometimes a result of poor nutrition where inadequate intake of nutrients can trigger this behavior. Feather loss occurring despite adequate nutrition is a result of aggressive behavior by some members of the flock,as feather pecking and pulling is a learned behavior and is usually the result of one, or a few members of the flock, exhibiting this behavior which gradually spreads in the flock. The curious nature of birds is also another reason why they peck and pull feathers,this is the reason why birds with injury or any discoloration or prolapse are separated otherwise the pecking can even result in death of birds. Boredom has also been attributed to pecking disorder as study has shown that birds not actively engaged can resort to pecking and feather pulling,this is why farmers are advised to tie veggies in shed or allow to hang down in various areas of house to keep them busy. 2) diseases. When birds are stressed,feather loss is a common sign and the stressor should be identified and addressed. Stressors such as heat, cold, disease, and lack of adequate amounts of feed and water can result in feather loss and poor feather quality with birds. Unhealthy birds as a result of diverse diseases is also a cause of feather loss and its an indicator to check management practices. 3)Molting ,though it is a natural process whereby laying birds will stop egg production and lose feathers from their neck, breast and back areas for a few weeks to a few months. Molting occurs most often in natural environments where the birds are exposed to natural day lengths,but in commercial flocks this is eliminated by providing long day lengths using artificial lights for approximately 14 hours every day. 4) Inadequate feed and water,when birds are not adequately fed,or lack required nutrients in ration they result to pecking and feather pulling A well balanced poultry feed formulated for appropriate age and type of bird will assure that the flock is receiving the necessary nutrients to maintain feather growth and maintenance. Good feather growth and maintenance requires adequate amounts of proteins, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and these vary with the type of birds reared and age as difference exists in ratio of these ingredients. A good feed ration must be balanced with adequate levels of various required nutrients.

New drug can slow down multiple sclerosis.

A new drug can slow down multiple sclerosis(MS),the drug called called Ocrelizumab is the first drug shown to work in the primary progressive form of the disease. Multiple sclerosis is caused by a rogue immune system mistaking part of the brain for a hostile invader and attacking it. It destroys the protective coating that wraps round nerves called the myelin sheath.The sheath also acts like wire insulation to help electrical signals travel down the nerve. If these sheaths are damaged it prevents nerves from working correctly and means messages struggle to get from the brain to the body. This can lead to having difficulty walking, fatigue and also blurred vision. Ocrelizumab kills a part of the immune system called the B cells that are involved in the assault on the myelin sheath. The study published in New England Journal of Medicine, accessed 732 patients with progressive MS, the percentage of patients that had deteriorated fell from 39% without treatment to 33% with ocrelizumab .Patients taking the drug also scored better on the time needed to walk 25 feet and had less brain loss detected on scans.

Fruit & veg may top up declining carotenoid levels in elderly: Study

Fruit & veg may top up declining carotenoid levels in elderly: Study: A high intake of fruits and vegetables has been linked to increased carotenoid concentrations as a study reveals a simple way of maintaining levels that naturally reduce with age in men and women.

Probiotics have a ‘positive effect’ on stress and anxiety: Meta-analysis

Probiotics have a ‘positive effect’ on stress and anxiety: Meta-analysis: Probiotics consumption may have advantageous effects on mental health by lessening the psychological symptoms of perceived stress, depression and anxiety, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis.

Obese parents triple obese offspring risk, experts warn

Obese parents triple obese offspring risk, experts warn: EarlyNutrition, a project comprised of 36 international research institutions, has released its final report following five years of investigation. The report sends a grave warning to parents and those planning for families on the dangers of parental obesity for children.

‘Enhanced probiotics’ pave the way in tackling malnutrition

‘Enhanced probiotics’ pave the way in tackling malnutrition: ‘Smart’ gut bacteria that can improve the fermentation process? Super-efficient microorganisms that can turn empty calories into complete nutritional food?

Kano advises farmers to report outbreak of bird flu.

Kano advises farmers to report outbreak of bird flu.Kano State Government on Thursday advised poultry farms in the state to report outbreak of bird flu to the appropriate authority for prompt action. Dr Shehu Bawa, the Director, Veterinary services, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.“Prompt and timely report on the outbreak of the disease is very important as it will enable government to take appropriate action,” he said. He advised farmers against taking any fowl to their farms without proper disinfection.“Farmers must take bio-security of their farms serious to ensure the safety of their birds,” Bawa said. He said the state government had taken proactive measures to ensure that the resurfacing of the disease in one of the farms in the state did not spread to other farms.“We are making efforts to check the spread of the disease, which has so far affected only one of the farms in the state.“ Bawa said the government had directed the ministry of Agriculture to submit request for disinfectants and other drugs needed for the control of the disease.continue

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How sleeping improves brain injury.

A recent study has shown that for patients with serious brain injuries, there's a strong link between sleep patterns and recovery. The study reported in neurology journal was of 30 patients hospitalized for moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries found that sleep quality and brain function improved in tandem . Patients who still had low levels of consciousness and cognitive functioning would sleep for a couple of minutes and then wake up for a couple of minutes,both day and night,but when the brain recovered, the [normal] sleep-wake cycle reappeared. The results raise the possibility that patients with brain injuries might recover more quickly if hospitals took steps to restore normal sleep patterns,by using drugs and making sure patients are exposed to sunlight or its equivalent during the day and at night rest in a dark, quiet environment.

Menstruation and the seclusion of girls.

Menstruation time for girls in some countries are hellish times,aside from the fact that many dont go to school during this time,many do not have protective towels to keep themselves clean .The onset of menstruation in girls marks the beginning of seclusion from family and friends because at that time she is termed unclean. The reaction of society to these girls have sparked heated debates because at that time she is termed unclean she is vulnerable to various environmental factors and should be taken care of and not secluded. Organizations are stepping out to help these girls see The story of a 15-year old that died in a menstrual hut is one death to many and all hands must be on deck to stop this seclusion.A 15-year-old girl died in a menstrual hut in western Nepal sometime between the night of Saturday, Dec. 17, and the morning of Sunday, Dec. 18. According to Nepal's Republica newspaper, Roshani Tiruwa, from Nepal's Achham district, went to the shed after eating dinner around 6 p.m. She lit a fire in the tiny mud hut before going to sleep. Tiruwa's father found her body the next morning. District police suspect the ninth-grader died from a lack of oxygen. This marks the second death related to the practice of menstrual seclusion in Nepal's Achham district in a month. On Nov. 19, the family of 26-year-old Dambara Upadhyay found her body inside a menstrual hut near her house. Officials initially suggested that she died from a heart attack, but a cause of death was not determined. Upadhyay's death caught the attention of the country's prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Local media reported that he called the district's chief officer to express his concern. Since 2007, at least eight other deaths related to menstrual seclusion have been reported in Achham, a district with a population of 250,000. Carbon monoxide poisoning from lighting fires to heat the sheds was a common cause of death. Wild animal attacks was another.more

Delhi Zoo animals given expired drugs.

Delhi Zoo animals given expired drugs.Delhi zoo was not only under-reporting deaths of animals and presenting falsified postmortem reports, but also administering expired medicines to the animals. A Central Zoo Authority (CZA) inquiry established that ketamine, known as a date rape drug and valued highly in the drugs market, was among the medications whose records were neither complete nor credible. Ketamine is used on animals as an anaesthetic and pain reliever.Among the expired medicines that the CZA found still in use at the zoo was replanta. "At the time of the inquiry, medicines that had outlived their shelf life were still being used. The records of medications being maintained were incomplete," said the CZA official. The CZA realised that the zoo was to have been supplied one 50ml vial of ketamine, but the zoo authorities admitted to actually holding five 10-ml vials of the medication. continue

Successful injectable chemotherapy in dogs leads to human trials.

Successful injectable chemotherapy in dogs leads to human trials. A pet dog,Cody was declared cancer free just months after he received a revolutionary injectable cancer-fighting chemotherapy regimen in July that delivers a compound containing cisplatin directly into a tumor. Researchers at the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center have created a new drug called Hylapat,they blended cisplatin, a platinum-containing anticancer medication with hyaluronan, a polymer that occurs naturally in the human body. The team used hyaluronan to create HylaPlat because it enables a non-destructive local injection and sticks well to cancer cells, allowing for an efficient uptake of cisplatin into the tumor cells. The compound molecule of hyaluronan and cisplatin is only 20 nanometers in size, after doing its work in the tumor, HylaPlat drains easily into the lymph nodes, delivering a high dose of chemotherapy to any cancer cells present there. In the initial clinical trial starting in 2012, seven large-breed dogs with small forms of oral cancer received what researchers determined to be a "good" formulation of the chemotherapy. They used pet dogs suffering with actual cancers as opposed to lab animals for a variety of reasons, one of which is the limits that model cancers pose for researchers. Lab cancers have to be grown carefully under strict conditions, while real-world cancers, are made much hardier, have ways to evade the body's immune system, and are made up of multiple kinds of different cells that make them hard to kill. In the trials,in 3 of the dogs the cancer disappeared while 2 showed remission signaling the success of drug and possibilities in human cases.

Leptospirosis in cattle.

Leptospirosis is one of the most common causes of abortion in cows and also causes infertility and milk drop in cows.The economic value of a farm where leptospirosis infection is present is reduced due to death of calves, and drop in milk . Leptospirosis is a zoonosis causing disease in humans, farmers / farm-workers, abattoir workers and vets are the main risk groups. The disease in man is usually acquired from contact with the urine, afterbirth or aborted fetus of an infected animal or with contaminated water. The signs of the disease in humans are flu-like, with headaches and fever which progresses to meningitis. The cattle shed leptospires in high levels in urine, milk and fetal fluids and this shedding persists for a number of weeks. Recovered animals may intermittently shed leptospires in urine as many animals become renal carriers of the bacteria after infection. At the onset of leptospiral infection,the bacteria localizes in the kidney and urinary tract,this is followed by sudden drop in milk yield which is usually followed by abortions 6-12 weeks after infection. The abortion rate in a herd is about 30% while a herd with previous history of infection is about 5%, this actually shows the importance of the infection as calving expectation is reduced not only that, where leptospires are shed in milk this becomes a waste as it cannot be sold because of public health concerns. The overall picture is that the cost of rearing the animals during that season brings no profit,hence a calving cycle/cow in the herd is lost. Infertility is another sign of leptospirosis,where conception rates are extremely low in the herd necessitating culling of unproductive cows,while cows that are infected during pregnancy have weak calves that die shortly after birth. Bio security measures must instituted on farms and followed strictly as the bacteria can survive in stagnant water,wet soil and streams for 6 weeks.Keep shed dry and clean and use of foot dips and car dips are also important. Handle any aborted calf carefully,wash hands and disinfect after coming in contact with abortion fluid or tissue.

Processed meat may ‘worsen’ asthma symptoms

Processed meat may ‘worsen’ asthma symptoms: Asthma sufferers could be at risk of making their symptoms worse, if they consume a high level of processed meat, according to French researchers.

Japanese drones lift off to track livestock

Japanese drones lift off to track livestock: A drone designed to make life easier for livestock farmers has been launched in Japan, with developers eyeing global sales in the future.

Traditional rainmaking ceremonies resurge in parched Zimbabwe.

Rainmaking makes a comeback in parts of parched Zimbabwe, scientists warn that such traditions may prove a distraction from more effective ways to deal with drought. Those include switching from the country's thirsty staple, maize, to more drought-hardy crops like millet and sorghum, capturing and storing more rainwater, and changing farming practices to preserve moisture in the soil. "We need to educate and train these village elders on the importance of... climate change adaptation measures like conservation agriculture and water harvesting," said Lawrence Nyagwande, who heads Environment Africa, a non-governmental organisation in Manicaland Province. Renewed attention on rainmaking ceremonies as the way to solve the growing problem is deterring some farmers from making those changes they have learnt to work. Even the backers of the rainmaking revival say the weather is nothing like they have seen before, with punishingly hot temperatures over much of the last decade and far more erratic rainfall.continue

NSAIDs prevent colon cancer.

Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) protect against colorectal cancer by inducing cell suicide pathways in intestinal stem cells that carry a certain mutated and dysfunctional gene. A study at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and the School of Medicine has shown the potency of NSAID to prevent colorectal cancer. Scientists from animal studies and clinical trials have established the use of NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, lowers the risk of developing intestinal polyps, which can transform into colon cancer. A new study compares the effectiveness of aspirin and ibuprofen to prevent cancer.Mayo Clinic researchers and a team of collaborating scientists have determined the comparative effectiveness of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin and several supplements in preventing the recurrence of advanced neoplasia (polyps that are the precursor of colorectal cancer) after polyp removal. The study published in British medical journal the team showed that, for most patients, nonaspirin NSAIDs like ibuprofen work better than aspirin or a host of nutritional supplements to prevent the growth of advanced adenomas. Approximately 85 percent of all colorectal cancers are thought to result from untreated adenomatous polyps thus if the growth is stopped, prevention is possible in majority of these cases. Aspirin and other NSAIDs have a protective effect, and also other nutritional supplements have been studied for their effectiveness in preventing cancer. The team conducted a meta-analysis a statistical research method that involves combining data from multiple studies to obtain a single consolidated observation of clinical trial data from 15 randomized control trials, reviewing information from 12,234 patients. These studies included low- and high-dose aspirin therapy, calcium, vitamin D and folic acid, and compared them each alone or in various combinations. The study showed that nonaspirin NSAIDs are better than all the other compared therapies for preventing recurrence of adenomatous polyps within three to five years following initial polyp removal. However, because of some of the other health risks of nonaspirin NSAIDs, they may not be the best choice for everyone.

How fasting stops cancer progression in children.

Fasting is a spiritual and physical cleanser as toxins have been flushed from system in a bid to ensure healthy living. Fasting or food restrictions are off various types depending on the purpose or intent. Fasting is also a weight control mechanism where certain individuals are placed on specific food restrictions to optimize health.The types of fast include but are not limited to fruit-fast,where individual takes only fruits or vegetable-fast .where only vegetables are allowed and the water-fast ,where individuals live off water for specified period to rest the digestive tract completely. Scientists have explored the fasting angle to treat life-threatening conditions such as leukemia, according to a new study not eating every alternate day can actually halt the progression of the most common diseases in children as excess fat is known to promote the circulation of leptin, a hormone that aid tumor growth. Leukaemia is cancer of the white blood cells; while the acute leukaemia progresses rapidly and aggressively the Lymphoblastic leukaemia is cancer of the lymphocytes,the white blood cells that fight viral infections thus making people vulnerable to infections. Data shows that one in every 2,000 children will develop it and about 85 per cent of cases occur in children under the age of 15. The signs of lymphoblastic leukamia include Symptoms pale skin, tiredness, breathlessness and repeated infections and the treatment protocols involve a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and a sometimes a stem cell transplant is indicated. A study by Researchers from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, United States, on mice using various dietary restriction plans and published by Nature Medicine used rodents with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia which is the most common type found in children. The researchers marked the cancer cells so they could trace them and determine if their levels rose or fell in response to the fasting treatment, at the end of seven weeks, the fasted mice had almost no detectable cancer cells. Fasting known to reduce the level of leptin, the researchers discovered decreased levels of leptin in the bloodstream as well as in the bone marrow of fasted mice. The effects became more pronounced with repeated cycles of fasting. They also observed that mice that ate normally died within 59 days, while 75 per cent of the fasted mice survived more than four months without signs of leukaemia.

Poisoning as people have died in Russia after drinking bath lotion.

People Have Died in Russia After Drinking Bath Lotion,because the label read ethyl alcohol instead of methanol that the drink contained. The BBC reports that Fifty-eight people in Russia have now died as a result of consuming a bath lotion containing toxic methanol. A further 37 people who became ill after drinking as little as one shot of the hawthorn-scented bath oil are still receiving treatment, with some in serious condition. There are fears the death toll could continue to rise. According to the Siberian Times, Irkutsk region health minister Oleg Yaroshenko said that almost half of the survivors were not expected to live.“They came to [the] doctors too late … Only a miracle can save them,” he told the newspaper, which referred to the mass poisoning as “the worst such case in modern Russian history.” It also said that many of the poisoning victims had died in their homes because the toxin had taken effect too rapidly for them to call emergency services. continue

Scientists Develop Oral Vaccine Against Salmonella Infection.

Salmonella is responsible for one of the most common food-borne illnesses in the world. In the US alone, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are about 1.4 million cases with 15,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths each year. It is thought that for every reported case, there are about 39 undiagnosed infections. Overall, the number of salmonella cases in the US has not changed since 1996. Salmonella infection in people with compromised immune systems and children under the age of three are at increased risk of invasive non-typhoidal salmonellosis, which causes systemic infection. There are about one million cases globally per year, with a 25 per cent fatality rate. Scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) in the US have developed an oral vaccine against Salmonella. The researchers explained that Oral vaccination is the simplest and least invasive way to protect people against salmonella infection. The oral vaccine has the added advantage of using the same pathway that salmonella uses to wreak havoc on the digestive system. The current study detailed in an article published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology ,showed that the researchers analysed the immune responses of mice that received the vaccination by mouth as well as how they responded to a lethal dose of salmonella," said Ashok Chopra, professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) in the US. They found that the orally administered vaccines produced strong immunity against salmonella, showing their potential for future use in people. There is no vaccine currently available for salmonella poisoning but antibiotics are the first choice for treating salmonella infections, but the fact that some strains of salmonella are quickly developing antibiotic resistance is a serious public health concern. Salmonella can also be used as a biological weapon as seen in Oregon when a religious cult intentionally contaminated restaurant salad bars and sickened 1,000 people.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New discovery has shown the bacteria responsible for ozone-depleting gas.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown a biological mechanism that convert nitrogen-based fertilizer into nitrous oxide, an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas. Agriculture is the steady source of nitrous oxide through nitrogen fertilizers.The increasing population has prompted more agricultural practices with more tilling and ploughing and increase use of nitrogen fertilizers to boost food production. The more nitrogen fertilizers are used,the higher the release of this ozone-depleting gas and global warming. The Nitrous oxide is photochemical and forms free radicals which are ozone-depleting agents that aggravates the issue of covering Earth's atmosphere with more gas and raising the globe's temperature. Cornell University researchers discovered a biological mechanism that convert nitrogen-based fertilizer into nitrous oxide, an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas .Kyle Lancaster, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and senior author on the research explained that to plug a leak you must identify source and then take necessary steps to correct The rise of Nitrous oxide is becoming quite significant in the atmosphere, as there has been a 120 percent increase of nitrous oxide in our atmosphere since pre-industrial times and this has been identified as source of ozone depleting gas. The researchers , showed that an enzyme made by the ammonia oxidizing bacterium Nitrosomonas europaea, cytochrome P460, produces nitrous oxide after the organism turns ammonia into an intermediate metabolite called hydroxylamine. The N. europaea and similar "ammonia-oxidizing bacteria" use hydroxylamine as their fuel source, but too much hydroxylamine can be harmful and this result in production of nitrous oxide as a chemical coping strategy. Lancaster and his colleagues explained that when ammonia-oxidizing bacteria are exposed to high levels of nitrogen compounds, such as in crop fields or wastewater treatment plants, then nitrous oxide production via cytochrome P460 will increase . Nitrous oxide has 300 times the potency of carbon dioxide hence a potentially harmful gas to be releasing on a global scale.

Green muscle disease in broilers.

Green muscle disease otherwise known as deep pectoral myopathy occurs as a result of necrosis of tender muscle fibers due to hypoxia . When blood flow to tissue is low it results in mortality of tender muscle fibers. Green muscle disease results from the rigorous and excessive activity of the two breast muscle groups, but only the smallest muscle referred to as tender is affected.The muscle volume increases, due to an increased blood flow during contraction to meet the local demand for oxygen and nutrients. The tender muscle cells have a rigid cover and are located in a tight chamber of the keel on both sides and fillet above, hence they cannot expand to accommodate this increased flow resulting in muscle death. The green muscle disease has been linked to management errors such 1) inadequate feeding and watering protocol. 2) extended lighting period. 3) noise pollution.

3D Printed Robotic Brace to Help Restore the Use of Arm in 5-year old-girl.

3D printing, robotics and other new technologies have enabled medical professionals to do incredible things for patients, they’ve also made it easier for patients and families to take matters into their own hands if they’re not satisfied with conventional solutions. This is the case of Bodo Hoenen, whose five-year-old daughter Lorelei suddenly developed a rare condition called acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a dangerous inflammation of the spinal cord which results in polio-like symptoms and possible long-term damage. The disease, which occurs most often in children, can even be fatal in some cases. Lorelei recovered from her illness, but not without lingering effects. Her left upper arm was rendered almost completely paralyzed; although she could move her hand and wrist, her shoulder and most of her arm were left immobile. Despite physical therapy, it was likely that Lorelei would never recover full function of her arm – but her father refused to accept this, taking matters into his own hands. This father went all out to save the daughter see

Woody breast in broilers.

Woody breast have evolved in the rapidly growing broiler chicken because of our drive to produce fast growing birds within a limited time frame and high demand for white meat.broiler chickens bred lately can yield breast fillets that are heavier than an entire bird was bred years ago. The down-side of this massive production is that rising number of those fillets are laced with hard fibers a condition commonly called woody breast. Woody breast poses no threat to human health, but it degrades the texture of the meat,taste and economic value.In woody breast,the fillets are hard,more elastic and difficult to chew.The actual cause is not known but it has been linked to decrease blood flow to muscle. This muscle myyopathy has been linked to necrosis following reduced blood flow to muscle resulting in fibrosis and replacement of protein fibers with collagen fibers. This replacement of protein fibers with collagen fibers is responsible for the toughness and woody appearance of muscle. The digestibility is questionable as its gummy,elastic and requires longer mastication. Woody breast changes the appearance and hence reduce consumer willingness to buy such chicken breast fillets. Producers cull such birds from production line and sell at discounted rates thus reducing profit margin. Producers are trying to curb the woody breast menace by changing production techniques by reducing fattening of the birds. The industry is poised to change tactics because fattened chickens dont meet many customers taste as many are not willing to pay large amounts for chicken breasts,they rather go for wings. Restaurants,food vendors are also scaling done demand thus prompting a paradigm shift. The role of phytase and trace minerals in the curbing of woody breast has been explored see

In-ovo chick sexing to curb massive culling of day-old cockerels.

The meat of modern laying hen strains differs from that of broiler strains in that it is not as edible and because their meat is of little economic value, many producers choose to cull day-old cockerel chicks that will not add to egg production . The massive culling of male chicks has raised animal welfare concerns hence many interventions have been sought to curb the practice by early detection of birds through sexing. A new research according to Eureka Alert,explains a method which can be carried out in the egg without damaging them, can distinguish between male and female embryos through differences between the sexes in the egg fluids. In-ovo testing is key to ending massive culling of male chicks in the poultry industry. This test uses an imaging technique called optical spectroscopy,and a group of European scientists have identified a way to determine the sex of a chick within four days of the egg being laid. The imaging technique called optical spectroscopy makes it possible for hatcheries to accurately determine the sex of a chick within four days of the egg being laid. This non-destructive method picks up on differences in the fluids contained in an egg from which a cockerel will develop, compared to one from which a hen will hatch.. In the study tests were done on 380 eggs,and the researchers were able to identify the sex of the embryo accurately in 93 percent of cases. The In-ovo testing based on spectral analysis is non-invasive, does not require extraction of egg material, the method is applicable during the fourth day of incubation, before onset of embryo sensitivity at day seven, which is therefore in agreement with animal welfare.

EEG FOR PLANTS.

In a bid to look into soil without using destructive methods , the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded $4.6 million to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) for two innovative projects to address this gap, giving farmers important information to increase crop yields while also promoting the storage of carbon in soil. One project aims to use electrical current to image the root system, which will accelerate the breeding of crops with roots that are tailored to specific conditions such as drought. The other project will develop a new imaging technique based on neutron scattering to measure the distribution of carbon and other elements in the soil. Berkeley Lab received these competitive awards from ARPA-E’s Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) program, which seeks to develop crops that take carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in soil—enabling a 50 percent increase in carbon deposition depth and accumulation while also reducing nitrous oxide emissions by 50 percent and increasing water productivity by 25 percent. Soil carbon deficits are a global phenomenon resulting from many decades of industrial agriculture. Soils have the capacity to store significant quantities of carbon, reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations while also enhancing soil fertility and water retention.continue

Food safety tips for Christmas.

The Christmas season is a time for celebrating with family and friends during office parties, buffets and potluck dinners. But, improperly prepared or handled foods can be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria that causes food borne illnesses The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service has food safety tips to ensure that the foods you share with your friends and family keep everyone in the spirit of Christmas. 1) Transporting Your Christmas Dish: If you're transporting a meal from one location to another, temperature is important. When transporting hot dishes, wrap them well and pack in an insulated container. Upon arrival, use the stove, oven, or microwave to reheat food to 165 °F. When transporting cold foods, use a cooler with ice or freezer gel packs. Be sure to store food in watertight containers to prevent contact with melting ice water and carry your cooler in the trunk, which is usually colder than other parts of the car. 2) Serving Your Meal: When serving your meal, keep foods out of the "danger zone" by keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If you are serving hot foods on a buffet, keep the foods hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers or warming trays. Make sure they are heated to at least 165 °F. Cold foods can be kept cold by nesting the serving dishes into bowls of ice or use small serving trays with smaller portions of food and replace as needed. It's important that cold foods are held at 40 °F or colder. 3) Leftovers: After the fun is over, don't forget to discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, and casseroles left at room temperature longer than 2 hours. Immediately refrigerate or freeze remaining leftovers in shallow containers. USDA's FoodKeeper app provides more details about how long leftovers can be stored, with storage guidance on more than 400 items and cooking tips for meat, poultry, seafood and eggs. continue

Giant dog-sized rats eats baby alive.

Giant dog-sized rats ate a sleeping three-month-old girl alive after she was allegedly left alone by her mother, who had scurried off to go partying. The 26-year-old mother from Johannesburg, South Africa arrived home after a night of boozing with her boyfriend and found the remains of her baby daughter on a blood-soaked bed, The U.K. Sun reports. The mother, who has been charged with child neglect, originally claimed the child had burned to death but neighbors who rushed to the shack in the township area of Katlehong disagreed. The baby died a painful death, as the infant’s tongue, eyes and fingers had all been eaten. and besides the missing body parts, the remains of her body had bites and wounds all over that were inflicted by the sharp teeth of the rats. Witnesses said the woman had taken the girl's twin brother Lucky out with her, when she went partying. She returned at 6:30 a.m. with her new boyfriend in tow and discovered that her daughter had been eaten by rats, her landlady, Mama Sesi Mtshali, said. This is not the first time rats have eaten people in South Africa townships as large numbers of rats are in the environment.more

The Nigerian Army and cattle rearing.

The drive to be food secure in the country and increase revenue through export of products has seen many sectors in the country dabbing into agriculture and agribusiness. The latest entrant to the agricultural zone is the Nigerian Army. The Nigeria Army has decided to raise cattle ranches in all brigades and divisions in the country to ensure food security through intensive production to ensure wholesome beef is available and to set the ball rolling officers were sent to Argentina to learn and understand production techniques. The idea behind under-studying Argentina is the fact they have a population of 41 million people but feed about 400 million people with their beef around the world.The Army has come up with an initiative dubbed the barrack investment initiative as a platform to encourage agribusiness ventures such as vegetable farming,rearing chicken e.t.c continue

Stress Can Cause Dogs To Go Prematurely Gray.

A new study has shown that stress can cause dogs to go grey prematurely.The study showed that the more anxious and impulsive a dog is the greater the stress level and hence graying of hair of the face. Animals are prone to stress induced graying just like humans according to a study published in December issue of Applied Animal Behavior Science. The lead researcher Camille King, an alumnus of Northern Illinois University and animal behaviorist, said based on years of experience observing and working with dogs, I’ve long had a suspicion that dogs with higher levels of anxiety and impulsiveness also show increased muzzle grayness. For the study, King teamed up with NIU professor Thomas Smith, animal behaviorist Peter Borchelt and renowned author/researcher Temple Grandin to visit dogs parks, veterinary offices and other areas where dogs congregate in Colorado. Together, they examined 400 dogs between the ages of 1 and 4. The dogs were photographed and the degree of muzzle grayness was rated on an ordinal scale ranging from “no gray” to “full gray.” In addition, the dogs’ owners were asked to fill out a behavior questionnaire and the owners were told that the purpose of the study involved dog lifestyle in order to prevent biased responses. The researchers found that dogs who exhibited higher owner-reported signs of anxiety and impulsivity showed a greater extent of premature muzzle graying than their less-anxious and less-impulsive dog peers. Female dogs showed higher levels of grayness than male dogs, but dog size, spay/neuter status and the presence of medical problems did not significantly predict the extent of muzzle grayness. One practical implication of the findings of this study involves the possibility of using observations of muzzle grayness in a diagnostic manner to address anxiety, impulsivity, or fear issues. According to the researchers, if dog professionals such as veterinarians, applied behaviorists, dog trainers, etc. are able to note premature graying in their assessments and or training, then these dogs might be assessed more thoroughly for anxiety/impulsivity/fear problems and, if necessary, started on behavior modification programs earlier in their developmental life stages. more

Selfie for your pets.

Pictures are now a modern way of communicating and with various social media platform to upload everybody is a potential photographer. The camera used,position and definitely the photo effects makes taking photographs as easy as it gets. This season many pet owners will capture fun moments with family and friends and yes with their pets,some pet lovers also make videos of sensational moments. The advent of selfies has increased the skill and level of photography,thus making many some sort of pro. Photography made easy for you and your pet,learn how to take amazing shots suitable for postcards and decoration.See

DIY CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR DOGS.

Its the Christmas season and joy is the word of the season. Malls are decorated,gifts purchased and several gift patterns are in the parks,but wait have you bought any gift for your dogs? Now is the time to shop or better still make great toys using old stuff,yes your dog will love it. Watch this, DIY

FOOT ROT IN RUMINANTS.

Foot rot is the common cause of lameness in ruminants and the effects are devastating both physically and financially. Lameness affects productivity,fertility and longevity of the animals on the farm. Foot rot is a common cause of lameness on farms. Foot rot causes economic losses through reduced live weight gain, reduced fertility and reduced mobility, it is a debilitating and painful condition and it is highly infectious and spreads easily from animal to animal on farm. Foot rot is easily recognized by a foul, very distinctive smell and under-running of the hoof causing the sole and the hoof wall to separate. Foot rot is caused by Fusobacterium necrophorum, the bacteria that causes scald,and it is found in the intestines of ruminants and is usually passed out with dung onto the field. This bacterium infects the hoof space first, particularly when it is damaged due to trauma or wet conditions. Foot rot occurs where scald is already established and the animal now comes in contact with a second bacterium called Dichelobacter nodosus. This second bacterium is able to enter the hoof and cause significant damage. Foot rot is an animal-animal disease and control and prevention must focus on a whole flock health plan. Control measures include :1) bio security plan for farm to include isolation and physical examination of newly acquired animals to farm. 2) provision of foot baths and regular hoof examination 3)Ensure the stalls are clean and dry. 4)Early detection will spur early treatment,thus observe animals and start treatment immediately. Animals that have persistent infection and lame and don't respond to treatment should be culled.