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.