African swine fever threatens to impact agriculture in China, the world’s biggest pork producer. (Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Neil Turner)

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.

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Can China, the world’s biggest pork producer, contain a fatal pig virus? Scientists fear the worst
Science, August 21, 2018
An outbreak of African swine fever has emerged in China. Four provinces in the country’s northeast have reported the virus, which poses a serious threat to the largest pork producer in the world. ASF does not harm humans, but causes internal bleeding, high fever, and death in pigs. Farm workers can spread the disease via contaminated equipment and clothing.

The world’s first floating farm making waves in Rotterdam
BBC, August 17, 2018
Cities may not seem like ideal farm locations, but a Dutch company has built a floating one in a city port. The idea is to reduce the distance between production of the produces and tables where it’s eaten, which limits transport pollution.

Should you get an amber collar for your pet? Probably not.
Slate, August 20, 2018
Several pet companies have released amber collars for pets, claiming the collars will repel ticks and fleas. But might this “natural” solution put pets at greater risk?

Plan bee: The rise of alternative pollinators
The New York Times, August 21, 2018
Honeybees, or Apis mellifera, face consistent threats from pesticides and other problems. As the species’ population declines, farmers are turning to other pollinators, such as the bumblebee or blue orchard bee.

How do you save fish that can’t swim? This vet made them tiny floaties.
The Washington Post, August 23, 2018
A veterinarian designed a unique solution after noticing Leafy Sea dragons struggling to stay afloat at an aquarium.

The battle for the soul of biodiversity
Scientific American, August 23, 2018
As plants and animals disappear at an alarming rate, researchers warn that we’re heading towards a mass extinction. However, an organization tasked with slowing climate change and another with addressing the impending mass extinction can’t seem to reach an agreement.