JAIL TIME NEEDED.
There is cruelty and there is cruelty. An investigation and subsequent report on breeding conditions for beagles used for scientific research highlights the horrific conditions the animals are subjected to. Per Science, “USDA inspectors documented more than 300 puppy deaths in the previous 7 months that Envigo attributed to unknown causes and did not investigate. Inspectors wrote that they found 15 animals with undiagnosed illnesses and untreated injuries at a facility that employs one staff veterinarian for 3000 dogs and 2000 puppies. Inspectors alleged that 71 dogs were euthanized after dogs in neighboring enclosures pulled their ears or tails through the caging and bit them. Forty-eight additional dogs bore fight wounds and three more had been found dead from fight wounds, according to the report. The facility employs 39 people, a ratio of one employee for 128 dogs.” There are so many disturbing examples of cruelty cited in the report. It is worth quoting what one observer told ScienceInsider, “‘The depth and scope of this suffering is almost beyond words. These conditions did not spring up overnight and reveal a callous indifference to even the most basic precepts of animal welfare,’ says Eric Kleiman, a researcher with the Animal Welfare Institute who has monitored inspection reports for decades and who reviewed the Envigo report.” Animal testing is on shaky enough ground as it is. This just makes the situation untenable. https://bit.ly/3HNw8RF
ON SECOND THOUGHT…
Europe has back-tracked on its recommendations for Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for adults. According to Reuters, “Coronavirus infections broke records on Wednesday in parts of Europe, once again the epicentre of a pandemic which has prompted new curbs on movement and made health experts think again about booster vaccination shots. Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary all reported new highs in daily infections as winter grips the continent and people gather indoors in the run-up to Christmas, providing a perfect breeding ground for COVID-19… The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU public health agency, recommended vaccine boosters for all adults, with priority for those over 40, in a major shift of policy.” Waning vaccine effectiveness can be a serious problem on top of large populations of unvaccinated holdouts. https://reut.rs/3FEmVcg
EARLY LIFE ON EARTH ACCORDING TO MATH.
Quanta Magazine has highlighted and expanded on a recent study that used mathematical models to hypothesize on conditions on earth before life began. According to the article, “In a recent paper in Biophysical Journal, Romain Attal, a physicist at the City of Science and Industry in France, and the cancer biologist Laurent Schwartz of the Paris Public Hospitals developed a series of mathematical equations that model how heat alone could have been enough to drive one important part of the replication process: the fission of one protocell into two. Attal thinks that the chemical and physical processes active in early life were probably quite simple, and that thermodynamics alone could therefore have played a significant role in how life began. He said that the kinds of basic equations he has been working on could spell out some of the rules that governed how life first emerged.” He may be on to something. We’re living in a simulation after all. https://bit.ly/2ZnjHuu
Hexadecanal is a common pheromone that is secreted from humans’ skin, saliva, and feces, and is particularly abundant on babies’ heads. A recent paper showed how exposure to the chemical triggers vastly different emotional reactionso in men and women. Per The Scientist, “The study exposed 127 participants to a computer game designed to frustrate them by resulting in an unfair division of money. (Participants were told they were playing against another person, but were in fact playing against the computer.) The experimental group had HEX scent strips applied to their upper lips while playing the game, and the control group had an identical strip without HEX applied to their upper lips. A follow up game allowed participants to blast their imaginary opponents with a noise loudness of their choosing, represented by increasingly angrier emojis. Women who smelled HEX responded 19 percent more aggressively in the follow up noise-blast test compared to women who didn’t, while men who smelled HEX responded 18.5 percent less aggressively than men who didn’t.” Makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. https://bit.ly/3cOSS5e
One of the most breathtaking and important events in nature is taking place of the coast of Australia. It’s the Great Coral Spawn (our term, thanks.) Per the Associated Press, “Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is spawning in an explosion of color as the World Heritage-listed natural wonder recovers from life-threatening coral bleaching episodes. Scientists on Tuesday night recorded the corals fertilizing billions of offspring by casting sperm and eggs into the Pacific Ocean off the Queensland state coastal city of Cairns. The spawning event lasts for two or three days. The network of 2,500 reefs covering 348,000 square kilometers (134,000 square miles) suffered significantly from coral bleaching caused by unusually warm ocean temperatures in 2016, 2017 and last year. The bleaching damaged two-thirds of the coral.” https://bit.ly/3oRlX5Q
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.
IMAGE CREDIT: Sirrob01.