Insect populations have seen a sharp decline in male fertility, which may be the cause of population decreases. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

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.

Heatwaves can ‘wipe out’ male insect fertility
The Guardian, Nov. 13, 2018
Heatwaves might be destroying the fertility of male beetles. As heatwaves become more common and as wildlife disappears, scientists suspect these trends are linked. Also worrying is the decrease in the sperm counts of western men, which have been cut in half during the past 40 years. 

Climate change may have made the Arctic deadlier for baby shorebirds
Science News, Nov. 13, 2018
The Arctic used to be a haven for shorebirds during nesting season. As larger numbers of birds have been migrating to these breeding grounds, more predators have arrived, putting young birds at risk. Experts suspect climate change plays a role.

As Ebola outbreak worsens in Congo, U.S. stays out of war zone
The Washington Post,
Nov. 14, 2018
Ebola response teams are struggling to isolate and track Ebola patients in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Violence has intensified near the Ebola operations center in Beni, an urban epicenter, which has interfered with standard disease control measures.

Hurricane Harvey passed over, but these fish kept making babies
The New York Times, Nov. 15, 2018
Though Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on land, the spotted seatrout continued reproducing, which suggests that some animals might remain resilient in the face of environmental destruction.

Africa doesn’t need genetically modified mosquitoes
Scientific American, Nov. 13, 2018
Some say genetically modified mosquitoes could eventually eliminate not only mosquitoes, but vector-borne diseases as well. But critics say the risk isn’t worth it, and that genetically modified animals could create unforeseen disasters.