This February, another Alberta dairy cow was found to have mad cow disease, reportedly Canada’s 18th case of the brain-wasting disease. Alberta Premier Ralph Klein famously suggested that farmers should cover up such cases when one arose in 2003: “I guess any self-respecting rancher would have shot, shoveled and shut up, but he didn’t do that,” Klein said at the Western Governors’ Association annual meeting.
Drugs in Milk
The Food and Drug Administration has announced plans to ramp up tests for antibiotic traces in milk. The dairy industry is protesting these tests, explaining that they could lead to recalls of tainted milk.
Chimpanzees Play with Dolls
Young chimpanzees in the wilds of eastern Africa use sticks as dolls, according to a new report in Current Biology. Researchers observed chimpanzees in Uganda carrying sticks in a way similar to the way human children carry dolls, taking them from tree to tree, patting and embracing them, and even putting them to bed. Female chimpanzees were more likely to engage in these behaviors than males.
Billions and Billions Stressed
University of Toronto researchers found that merely seeing McDonald’s Golden Arches or other fast-food symbols caused research participants to show signs of stress.
PCRM ILLUSTRATIONS/DOUG HALL
Chimpanzees Outwit Hunters
Five wild chimpanzees in Guinea have learned to deactivate, and sometimes even destroy, traps set by hunters, according to scientists who observed the chimpanzees.
Mouse Experiments Falsified
The Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research has retracted an article after the National Institutes of Health learned it was based on falsified mouse data. Vanderbilt University experimenter Nagendra Ningaraj induced brain tumors in the animals, injected them with chemicals, and later killed them and dissected their brains, but doctored the results in his article published in October 2009.
Just Say No
In 2009, 29 million pounds of antibiotics were used to raise animals in factory farms, according to a recent Food and Drug Administration report. Animal agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of antibiotic use in the United States and is increasingly blamed for the growing resistance to antibiotics among disease-causing bacteria.
Eat Your Feelings
Consumption of foods containing saturated fats and trans fats may contribute to depression, according to new research. Scientists in Spain analyzed the diets of more than 12,000 people for six years and found that those who ate the most trans fats had a 48 percent higher risk of depression, compared with those who did not eat trans fats.