OH Digest: Dangerous algae, coyotes and bobcats in L.A., and more of the latest health news

OH Digest: Dangerous algae, coyotes and bobcats in L.A., and more of the latest health news

As harmful algal blooms appear more frequently in lakes and rivers, researchers at The Environmental Working Group use satellite imagery and news reports to track the harmful cyanobacteria. (Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Mapbox)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

FEATURED ITEM:
Report: Toxic algae are growing threat to water, human health
MPR News, May 15, 2018
Waterways across the United States are experiencing outbreaks of cyanobacteria, which can produce harmful toxins that impact not only fish and marine life, but also humans and land animals.

See surprising photos of wildlife in one of Hollywood’s favorite settings
Washington Post, May 14, 2018
Bobcats, coyotes, wild fish, and other unexpected species have made themselves at home along and in the Los Angeles River. Researchers are studying these animals to determine how wildlife adapts to urban areas.

Who has the ‘cleaner’ bed: Chimps or humans?
National Geographic, May 15, 2018
Scientists swabbed chimpanzee nests and human beds, and they discovered that the latter contain far more bacteria species than the former. But does that mean chimpanzees are cleaner?

A warming climate may produce more drug-resistant infections
Scientific American, May 21, 2018
A recent study determined that a hotter climate leads to more drug-resistant bacteria, as well as resistance in common pathogens.

How a prairie-dog plague vaccine could protect ferrets (and maybe people, too)
Live Science, May 21, 2018
Scientists have developed a prairie dog plague vaccine to protect the black-footed ferret, the prairie dog’s primary predator. This vaccine has the potential to eliminate the disease in animals that come in contact with humans, too.

How gut microbes are joining the fight against cancer
Nature, May 23, 2018
Our intestinal microbiome might have the ability to improve patients’ response to cancer treatments.

OH Digest: Healing properties of camel antibodies, an experimental Ebola vaccine, and other health news

OH Digest: Healing properties of camel antibodies, an experimental Ebola vaccine, and other health news

Researchers discovered small antibodies, sometimes called nanobodies, by accident, through serum original collected to study camel parasites. (Photo: Steven Penton/Flickr Creative Commons)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

FEATURED ITEM
Mini-antibodies discovered in sharks and camels could lead to drugs for cancer and other diseases
Science, May 10, 2018
An immunologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine studies shark blood antibodies. When combined with research on nanobodies from camels and other animals, this work has the potential to treat an array of diseases including brain cancer and lupus.

Anaplasmosis poses growing threat to U.S. cattle
Bovine Veterinarian, May 9, 2018
Anaplasmosis, a parasitical disease spread by infected blacklegged ticks and infected vaccination needles, plagues the U.S. cattle industry and leads to high costs.

G.M.O. foods will soon require labels. What will the labels say?
The New York Times, May 12, 2018
Despite studies that indicate that genetically modified organisms are not a threat to human health, the United States Department of Agriculture aims to establish new guidelines for labeling such foods starting in 2020.

Experimental vaccine will be used against Ebola outbreak in the DRC
Scientific American, May 14, 2018
The Democratic Republic of Congo has received permission to use an experimental Ebola vaccine to treat the latest outbreak, which began officially on May 8 though may have been going on already for five weeks.

Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees C helps most species hold their ground
Science News, May 17, 2018
Until recently, scientists believed that if the planet warmed no more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100, we could save our biodiversity. Now a combination of species distribution data and climate simulations suggests that we should really be aiming for 1.5 degrees.

Williamson-Rea is a junior science writer in the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Communications. He is also an MA candidate in Science/Medical Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

 

OH Digest: Benefits of a germy childhood, the threat to one in eight bird species, and more

OH Digest: Benefits of a germy childhood, the threat to one in eight bird species, and more

Germy environments can result in better physical and mental health, according to new research. (Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/keeva999)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

One in eight bird species threatened with extinction, global study finds
The Guardian, Apr. 22, 2018
Populations of once-common species like the snowy owl, turtle dove, and puffin are disappearing, which fits a worrying trend: Global extinction threatens one in eight bird species.

Pony gets treated for rare blood cancer using medicine for humans
Inside Edition, Apr. 23, 2018
After a Pennsylvania farm’s veterinary team diagnosed Bob the pony with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a cancer rare in horses, they contacted an oncology team that fuses human and animal medicine.

Kids raised on farms are healthier in two important ways
Gizmodo, Apr. 30, 2018
Scientists have speculated that germy childhood environments can improve our immune systems and physical health, but a study recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that these environments can result in better mental health as well.

Bull sharks and bottlenose dolphins are moving north as the ocean warms
Science News, May 2, 2018
Researchers have found these oceanic predators in northern waters, and scientists suggest that more species will migrate farther north as climate change increases ocean temperatures.

How worried should you be about a disease you’ve never heard of?
NPR: Goats and Soda, May 3, 2018
After Saudi Arabian officials raised a false alarm about Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever, the NPR blog Goats and Soda wanted to learn more about the rare—and often deadly—disease carried by ticks that feed on camels.

Lyme disease is on the rise again. Here’s how to prevent it
Shots: Health News from NPR, May 7, 2018
Barbara Thorne, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time in western Pennsylvania as a child. But she never worried about ticks infected with Lyme disease bacteria until she experienced the risk first-hand.

Williamson-Rea is a junior science writer in the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Communications. He is also an MA candidate in Science/Medical Writing at Johns Hopkins University.

 

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