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Animal Health

Invented for the military, used to defend wildlife

09 December 2006

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

Zeeya Merali

By the time Steve Gulick arrived, it was too late. The poachers had struck, and elephant carcasses carpeted the floor. "You could step from body to body without your feet touching the ground," he says. "Whole elephant families lay next to each other, gunned down for their tusks." 

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Scientists say trained bees can sniff bombs

PHOENIX (Reuters) Nov 28, 2006 - Scientists at a U.S. weapons laboratory

say they have trained bees to sniff out explosives in a project they say could have far-reaching applications for U.S. homeland security and the Iraq war. 

Researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico said they trained honeybees to stick out their proboscis -- the tube they use to feed on nectar -- when they smell explosives in anything from cars and roadside bombs to belts similar to those used by suicide bombers. 

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Stem cells help dogs with dystrophy

Thursday, November 16, 2006

By MALCOLM RITTER
AP SCIENCE WRITER

NEW YORK -- In promising new research, stem cells worked remarkably well at easing symptoms of muscular dystrophy in dogs, an experiment that experts call a significant step toward treating people.

"It's a great breakthrough for all of us working on stem cells for muscular dystrophy," said researcher Johnny Huard of the University of Pittsburgh, who wasn't involved in the work.

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Stunning finds of fish and coral

by Richard Black

Environment correspondent, BBC News 

Discoveries of hugely diverse fish and coral species in the Indonesian archipelago have amazed researchers.

The Bird's Head region in Papua may be the most biologically diverse in all the oceans, say scientists from Conservation International (CI).

Among 50 species believed to be new are bottom-dwelling "walking" sharks and "flasher" wrasse, which feature colourful male courting displays.

CI is working with the Indonesian government to protect the ecosystem.

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Animal welfare: See things from their perspective

September 23, 2006

NewScientist.com news service

by Andy Coghlan 

Your dog falls ill, so you take him to the vet. After a quick consultation you take him home, and soon he appears to be better. But he is not. You and the vet have failed to realise that he is still in severe pain, and the drugs the vet has prescribed will turn him into a social outcast, a dog that may be shunned or even attacked by others. 

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The Most Amazing Bird in the World

While reviewing my news stories, I came across this amazing story about the

longest annual bird migration ever recorded:

A flock of sooty shearwaters, weighing no more than 2 pounds, that traveled some 46,000 miles. Equally as amazing to me is that these birds could travel nearly 700 miles a day.

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Study Finds That a Type of Cancer in Dogs Is Contagious

By Rick Weiss

Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 11, 2006; Page A03

Scientists in England have gathered definitive evidence that a kind of cancer in dogs is contagious -- a peculiar exception to the age-old medical wisdom that you can't "catch" cancer.

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Vaccine credited with drop in West Nile in horses

By Dorsey Griffith and Tomio Geron SACRAMENTO BEE

SACRAMENTO - Darlene LaDell stroked Sarah's strong neck and whispered soothing words in the horse's ear. Still, the mare pranced around the stall, wide-eyed and tense in anticipation of the needle's prick.

From LaDell's point of view, Sarah's nervousness was a small price to pay for protection against West Nile virus, a disease that in California kills nearly half of the horses it infects.

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Vaccine credited with drop in West Nile in horses

By Dorsey Griffith and Tomio Geron SACRAMENTO BEE

SACRAMENTO - Darlene LaDell stroked Sarah's strong neck and whispered soothing words in the horse's ear. Still, the mare pranced around the stall, wide-eyed and tense in anticipation of the needle's prick.

From LaDell's point of view, Sarah's nervousness was a small price to pay for protection against West Nile virus, a disease that in California kills nearly half of the horses it infects.

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