Researchers have used CRISPR gene-editing software to treat dogs with muscular dystrophy. (Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/mo01229/)

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.

CRISPR used to repair gene mutation in dogs with muscular dystrophy
The Wall Street Journal, August 30, 2018
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the Royal Veterinary College in London have tackled Duchene muscular dystrophy in dogs by repairing the gene mutation with CRISPR gene-editing. This method could eventually treat the same disease in humans.

Beavers—once nearly extinct—could help fight climate change
National Geographic, August 24, 2018
Beavers play an important role not only in ecosystems and have a wide-ranging effect on our landscapes and economy. As climate change intensifies, beavers could serve as “ecological and hydrological Swiss army knives.”

How animal venoms are helping to treat a wide range of medical conditions
Live Science, August 31, 2018
While we rightfully avoid venomous animals, it turns out components of their venom can treat an array of medical conditions including chronic pain, diabetes, and epilepsy, according to a new article published in Science.

Despite many threats, some coral reefs are thriving
Scientific American, September 9, 2018
Almost half of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened by bleaching. What can researchers and communities do to protect these reefs, as well as reefs that continue to thrive against all odds?

Toxic red tide algae moves north near Tampa Bay, killing hundreds of thousands of fish
The Washington Post, September 9, 2018
Tampa Bay’s toxic algae bloom has moved north along the coastline, leaving behind worrying numbers of dead fish, turtles, dolphins, and even sharks.

A deadly pig disease raging in China is bound to spread to other Asian countries, experts warn
Science, September 10, 2018
Animal health experts warn that an August outbreak of African swine fever will spread from northeast China to other Asian countries. There is no cure for ASF, and though the disease cannot infect humans, it’s almost always universally fatal for pigs.