Ed Asner, the burly and prolific character actor who became a star in middle age as the gruff but lovable newsman Lou Grant, first in the hit comedy “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and later in the drama “Lou Grant,” died Sunday. He was 91.
Asner’s representative confirmed the actor’s death in an email to The Associated Press. Asner’s official Twitter account included a note from his children: “We are sorry to say that our beloved patriarch passed away this morning peacefully. Words cannot express the sadness we feel. With a kiss on your head- Goodnight dad. We love you.”
Built like the football lineman he once was, the balding Asner was a journeyman actor in films and TV when he was hired in 1970 to play Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” For seven seasons he was the rumpled boss to Moore’s ebullient Mary Richards (He called her “Mary,” she called him “Mr. Grant”) at the fictional Minneapolis TV newsroom where both worked. Later, he would play the role for five years on “Lou Grant.”
Asner’s character had caught on from the first episode of “Mary Tyler Moore,” when he told Mary in their initial meeting, “You’ve got spunk. … I hate spunk!” The inspired cast included Ted Knight as Ted Baxter, the dimwitted news anchor; Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter, the sarcastic news writer; and Betty White as the manipulative, sex-obsessed home show hostess Sue Ann Nivens. Valerie Harper and Cloris Leachman, playing Mary’s neighbors, both saw their characters spun off into their own shows.
The 99-year-old fellow animal lover and dear friend of Talkin’ Pets White is the lone surviving main cast member from “Mary Tyler Moore.”
Virbac announces the breakthrough drug STELFONTA (tigilanol tiglate injection) that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a non-surgical alternative for treating canine mast cell tumors in dogs, is now available in veterinary clinics throughout the United States. Australian company QBiotics discovered the biologically active pharmaceutical ingredient, tigilanol tiglate, in the seed of the Australian native blushwood tree from the rainforest of North Queensland.
According to the Morris Animal Foundation, cancer is the leading cause of death for dogs over two years old. Mast cell tumors are the most common type of skin cancer in dogs and often appear as a nodule on or just underneath the skin. While typical treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, these treatments may not be appropriate for every dog. STELFONTA is injected directly into the tumor and works by activation of the local innate immune system with destruction of the tumor cells and tumor blood supply leading to tumor destruction. STELFONTA goes on to promote complete healing of the typical tissue deficit left after tumor removal with minimal scar formation. While sedation is not usually required, it may be necessary to safely and accurately administer STELFONTA.
Since STELFONTA received approval from the FDA, roughly 88 percent of U.S. veterinarians polled who have used STELFONTA to treat canine mast cell tumors reported satisfactory experiences. STELFONTA has also received approval from regulatory agencies in Australia, Europe and the United Kingdom for the treatment of canine mast cell tumors.
STELFONTA may cause extensive wound formation at the tumor site, including cellulitis and severe tissue sloughing that may require additional management and healing time. The most common adverse reactions seen in the clinical trial were wound formation, injection site pain, lameness in the treated limb, vomiting, diarrhea, hypoalbuminemia, and injection site bruising. Sedation of the dog may be necessary to safely and accurately administer STELFONTA to decrease the chance of accidental self-injection that may cause local inflammation and wound formation. The safe use of STELFONTA has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 3.5 years old. Virbac Veterinary Technical Support offers consultation to veterinarians regarding STELFONTA and mast cell case management at 1.800.338.3659.
QBiotics is an Australian life sciences company which discovers, develops and commercializes novel anticancer and wound healing pharmaceuticals for human and veterinary markets. QBiotics is currently investigating a human formulation containing tigilanol tiglate in a range of cancer types in humans, including melanoma and head squamous cell carcinoma.
A Connecticut woman was sentenced to a week behind bars — and must pay more than $2,000 in fines — after she walked across a thermal area in Yellowstone National Park, federal prosecutors said this week.
Madeline S. Casey, 26, of New Hartford, was charged with walking off the boardwalk and stepping onto thermal ground as she made her way up to a thermal pool and geyser at Norris Geyser Basin, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming.
She was with two other people during the excursion, one of whom also stepped onto the thermal ground, prosecutors said.
Multiple concerned bystanders took photos of the trespassers in the area — which is well-marked with signs warning people to stay on the boardwalk.
Casey was ordered spend seven days in jail, as well as pay a $1,000 fine, $40 in fees and a $1,000 community service payment to the Yellowstone Forever Geological Resource Fund during an Aug. 18 appearance in front of Magistrate Judge Mark L. Carmon in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming, according to the release.
“For those who lack a natural ability to appreciate the dangerousness of crusty and unstable ground, boiling water, and scalding mud, the National Park Service does a darn good job of warning them to stay on the boardwalk and trial in thermal areas,” Acting United States Attorney Bob Murray, of the District of Wyoming, said in a statement.
“Yet there will always be those like Ms. Casey who don’t get it,” he said. “Although a criminal prosecution and jail time may seem harsh, it’s better than spending time in a hospital’s burn unit.”
Since 1870, more than 20 people have died of burns after entering or falling into Yellowstone’s hot springs, The Billings Gazette reported.
In one 2016 incident, an Oregon man ventured off-trail and attempted to soak in a pool with a later-recorded temperature of 212 degrees, according to the report.
The man’s body had already dissolved into the scorching, acidic water by the time a recovery team returned the next day, the outlet reported.
“Boardwalks in geyser basins protect visitors and delicate thermal formations,” Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs Officer Morgan Warthin said in a statement. “The ground is fragile and thin and scalding water just below the surface can cause severe or fatal burns.”
A pandemic-driven acquisition spree raised ownership of pets other than dogs and cats to the highest level in a decade for three of the four main “other pet” types, with pet birds being the exception, according to Packaged Facts. In the wake of COVID-19, 12.2% of all U.S. households own a type of pet other than dogs and cats, up from 10.8% five years ago, according to the firm’s new report on fish, small mammal, herptile and bird products,.
Now at $2.8 million, the retail market for fish, small mammal, reptile/amphibian and bird products posted sales increases across categories in 2020, the firm said in a press release. That resulted in an 18.5% sales increase that exceeded even the unprecedented 15.8% growth experienced by the retail pet products sector overall.
Despite the economic set-backs and uncertainties since COVID-19, Packaged Facts survey results from June 2021 show that only 4% of other pet owners decreased their pet spending in the previous 12 months, while 33% increased it.
“Product premiumization plays a part in this spending increase, with these other pet owners following the pattern of dog and cat owners in seeking out costlier natural foods and more design- and eco-conscious non-food products such as bedding, habitats/enclosures, and toys,” according to report analyst Shannon Brown.
Why do millions of Americans opt for fish, small animals, reptiles, and birds? Nearly two-thirds of other pet owners (65%) enjoy keeping them because they are fun to watch and observe, according to Packaged Facts survey data. Over half (52%) simply love this type of pet. Other common motivations include these pets being fun to interact with, adding liveliness to the home, and providing companionship.
These motivations provide clear context for the pandemic-driven other pet acquisition boom. With the stay-at-home, school-from-home dynamics earlier in the crisis and the ongoing waves of COVID-19 infection, home-centric households are relying on various types of pets for adult and child activities, comfort and companionship. Even when pandemic restrictions ease and online classes become options, most households will continue to cherish these pets, such that continued market growth is projected in the coming years, according to the press release.
Packaged Facts explained that marketers in the other pets market would do well to position on both function and “fun” while expanding their product ranges.
“Retailers should find success in products that allow people to interact with various types of pets in safe, enjoyable ways while keeping all creatures involved healthy and happy,” according to the release.
Globally, extreme rainfall events -- including those in Germany and China in recent months -- are becoming more common because of human-caused global warming, scientists say.
A recent UN climate report said that "the frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s over most land area."
Across continental US, specifically, the heaviest downpours have been observed to be increasing in all regions, with the northeast showing the largest increase, according to the US National Climate Assessment. "Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air. Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased over both land and oceans," the report says.
In terms of hurricanes, climate change is making them more dangerous. They are producing more rainfall, moving slower once they make landfall and generating larger storm surges along the coast. Hurricane Ida was a prime example of those changes, and scientists say storms like this will become more common as the planet warms. Scientists are now able to analyze exactly how much of a role climate change is likely to have played in a particular weather event. It's too early to make such an estimate for Ida, but trends in hurricanes of this force suggest a link.
"What we can say, without doing a dedicated attribution study, is that major hurricane occurrences (categories 3-5) have increased in recent decades, which cannot be explained by natural variability alone," Friederike Otto, who co-leads the World Weather Attribution initiative, told CNN in an email. "Specifically, from event attribution, we do note that when hurricanes occur, the rainfall associated with them is more intense because of human-induced climate change, and Ida will not be an exception."
While there is less certainty about the impacts of climate change on wind speed and some other factors, there is high confidence that the translation speed -- how fast the whole system moves -- of hurricanes has slowed, Otto said. "This is important as it means the cyclones hang around for longer and thus can also cause more damage."
Reaching net zero, where the world emits no more greenhouse gases than it removes -- by 2050 could contain average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which scientists say would stave off some of the more catastrophic climate change impacts than the world if currently experiencing. Warming is already at around 1.2 degrees C.
Joe Rogan, the host of Spotify’s most popular podcast, has contracted Covid, he announced on Wednesday. He says he is feeling better – but his health update undoubtedly made health experts instantly sick.
On Instagram, the podcaster, who professes not to be “an authority on health” but has discouraged young people from getting the coronavirus vaccine, said that he had “immediately thrown the kitchen sink” at his infection. Among the many medications he used, he said, was ivermectin, a drug used against parasites in humans and livestock.
Rogan, described by the New York Times as “one of the most consumed media products on the planet”, has legions of devoted followers. Some episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience have boasted tens of millions of downloads, and his recommendations for everything from supplements to shaving supplies can be a godsend for companies.
That’s why his apparent endorsement of a medicine unproven as an effective treatment for Covid-19 is concerning. Though ivermectin can be prescribed to target parasitic infections in humans, the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved the drug for use against the coronavirus. In large doses, the FDA warns, it can be dangerous, with side effects including “nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension (low blood pressure), allergic reactions (itching and hives), dizziness, ataxia (problems with balance), seizures, coma and even death”.
But after an Australian study last year that found ivermectin could kill Covid in a lab, chatter about the drug has exploded online. Politicians and rightwing talkshow hosts have promoted it – even as the very researchers behind the study warn against it. In the US, prescriptions for the drug have soared from 3,600 weekly before the pandemic to more than 88,000 in a week last month, per CDC data. At the same time, poison control centers have seen calls related to ivermectin explode, reaching five times their usual rate in July, the Washington Post reported.
Rogan’s announcement is not his first widely criticized tango with ivermectin. The 22 June episode of his podcast features an interview with Dr Pierre Kory, who testified to US senators in December about ivermectin and called it a “miracle drug”.
But experts strongly disagree, and forcefully warn against self-treating with the medication. “I plead with people to stop using ivermectin and get the vaccine because it’s the best protection we have at this point,” the toxicologist Shawn Varney told the New York Times. “Everything else is risk after risk.” A study touting the drug was withdrawn due to ethical concerns, with the authors apparently having simply used a thesaurus to alter paragraphs from press releases about the drug.
CVM urges veterinarians and retailers to spread public awareness surrounding misuse of ivermectin to treat COVID-19
The FDA's CVM is asking veterinarians and animal care retailers to educate people on the harms of using this animal drug to ultimately, help prevent more people from falling ill.
As reported in several recent news stories including a Health Alert1 from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poison control centers nationwide are noticing a surge in people experiencing adverse health effects and becoming severely sick after taking animal ivermectin.
The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is ongoingly concerned with people utilizing animal formulations of ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 and is urging veterinarians and retailers to spread public awareness about the dangerous effects this drug has on humans.
According to a CVM Letter,2 People are buying various highly concentrated animal ivermectin drug formulations including “pour-on,” injectable, paste, and “drench” that are intended for horses, cattle, and sheep.
Though some animal drugs have the same active ingredient as an approved human drug, animal drugs have not been evaluated for human safety or effectiveness. Using veterinary drugs for human conditions can be dangerous as the drug may be completely infective or could worsen the illness and/or lead to serious, potentially life-threatening health complications.2 Additionally, humans should not take drugs approved for veterinary use, “for research only,” or otherwise not for human consumption.
To help veterinarians and retailers inform the public, the CVM has created a downloadable sign to pass out or post at a place of business that helps elucidate the perils of taking this drug for human use.
A lot is happening in the world of pet food, what with contaminated kibble recalls, suspicions that some dogs are dying of a heart condition because of what they're fed, mounting evidence about the risks of feeding raw meat, and an ongoing mystery related to jerky treats.
If there's something you want to say about how pet food is regulated in the United States, the federal Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine is prepared to hear you out.
The agency is holding a virtual listening session on Sept. 24 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern. There is no charge to participate.
The online session is meant to "provide an opportunity for stakeholders to share information and insight on this topic with FDA," the agency says. It wishes to "better understand various perspectives on topics such as the FDA's oversight of pet food labeling, ingredients, contaminants and safety to help inform resource allocation and any potential future policy development process."
Those wishing to listen in must register by Sept. 20, no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern.
A bit of background: The FDA regulates ingredients, manufacturing and labeling of pet foods, including treats, whether it be for dogs, cats, gerbils, snakes or whatever the companion animal.
Unlike drugs, pet foods do not need approval by the FDA before they're sold. Federal law requires, however, that food for pets, like food for people, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, free of harmful substances and truthfully labeled.
A five-year, $3.7-million grant supporting the research of a new COVID treatment has been issued to veterinary virologists at Kansas State University (K-State).
Bestowed by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the project aims to complete development of a drug for preclinical studies, which will ultimately lead to a COVID-specific antiviral therapeutic treatment. It is led by principal investigator, Kyeong-Ok “KC” Chang, DVM, MS, PhD, a virologist at K-State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“There is currently an urgent and unmet need for the discovery and development of antiviral therapeutics for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19,” he says.
Yunjeong Kim, DVM, PhD, ACVM, who is also a veterinary virologist at K-State, serves as co-principal investigator on the project, along with William C. Groutas, PhD, a medicinal chemist at Wichita State University; Stanley Perlman, MD, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology from the University of Iowa; and Scott Lovell, PhD, a structural biologist at the University of Kansas.
“Recent advances of our efforts on the drug development include identification of potent compounds effective against SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by cell culture testing, X-ray co-crystallography, and an animal model,” Dr. Chang says.
The group has been working on antiviral drug development against both human and animal coronaviruses for more than a decade, focusing on protease inhibitors, K-State reports. Earlier this year, they published new findings on SARS-CoV-2 treatment options.
“Drs. Chang and Kim have over 30 years of collective experience investigating coronaviruses and other similar viruses,” says Derek Mosier, DVM, PhD, DACVP, department head of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in K-State’s CVM. “They have established a well-deserved international reputation for research excellence and discovery, so their recent success comes as no surprise. Their contributions to the research efforts of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Kansas State University are invaluable.”
The project is titled, “Small Molecule Inhibitors Against 3C-Like Protease of SARS-CoV-2.”
Can you remember the last time the smell of a favorite food instantly made you hungry? Like humans, horses respond to olfactory cues. Adding an enticing stimuli, anise oil in particular, may boost feed intake, according to recent research.*
Horses occasionally turn up their noses at feed, causing owners considerable frustration, especially if a horse visibly drops weight, loses its topline, or shows signs of gastric ulceration. “Abrupt changes in feed or a small change in forage, concentrate, or supplement may make horses back away from their feed buckets and hay nets. Changes in their daily routine, exercise level, or management conditions, and even pain, injury, illness, or stress, can cause a horse to retreat from feed and hay,” said Catherine Whitehouse, M.S., a Kentucky Equine Research nutritionist.
“In some cases, horses can be tempted to eat by offering multiple small meals of fresh feed each day. I also recommend a digestive health supplement such as EquiShure to support appetite and gastrointestinal health in hard keepers or any horse with decreased voluntary intake,” suggested Whitehouse.
While hand-feeding may entice small dogs to eat, it clearly won’t work for horses. Olfactory stimulation may provide a more viable alternative. “In some feed flavor studies, anise was a favorite of horses. Anise is a flowering plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia. The flavor and aroma of its seeds resemble that of black licorice,” Whitehouse described.
To determine if horses were attracted to anise aroma, not just the flavor, and to see if their appetites could be piqued, false bottom pans were constructed. The feed pans had small openings that allowed the aroma of anise-soaked gauze to emanate from under the pans.
At mealtime, horses entered feeding stocks with a two-sided feeding bunk. The false-bottom anise pan was on one side of the bunk while a similar pan with corn oil was placed on the other. Horses were offered a small amount of crimped oats in the pans. Their behavior was then observed and recorded. Behaviors included positive ones, such as sniffing and consuming the feed, and aversive ones, like retracted lips, gaping mouth, and tongue protrusion. The meal was considered finished when more than 75% of the oats were consumed.
“Compared to the corn oil, horses sniffed anise more frequently before consuming oats. The horses ate the oats from the anise pan before the oats from the corn oil pan, and finished the anise ones first, too, showing a clear preference for anise aroma,” Whitehouse explained.
This study shows that olfactory stimulation may entice horses to eat and could be a way to encourage feed intake if feed additives are ineffective. While this study was performed at Southern Illinois University, Kentucky Equine Research continues to do its own flavor preference trials. An early study was designed to determine which fruit flavors horses prefer (cherry claimed victory over apple, citrus, and teaberry), while a more recent study helped identify a new flavor for the proven marine-derived omega-3 supplement EO-3.