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Talkin' Pets News

October 23, 2021

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Dr. Suzanne Topor - Livingston Animal & Avian Hospital, Lutz, FL

Producer - Lexi Lapp Adams

Network Producer - Paul Campos

Special Guest - Kac Young the parent of Spirit the Cat "My First Autobiography from Street Life to the Sweet Life" will join Jon & Talkin' Pets 10/23/21 at 5pm ET to discuss & give away the book


Pet care is one of the main reasons that sick people hesitate to be admitted to the hospital, doctors have found.

To research the issue, Michigan Medicine contacted a network that it maintains of about 1,300 patients and family members, HealthDay News reports.

From among 113 responses, 63 percent reported that they’d “experienced difficulty when figuring out pet care during their own hospitalizations or the hospitalizations of a loved one.” And 16 percent knew someone who’d checked out of the hospital against physicians’ advice in order to look after pets.

The research came about after Dr. Tiffany Braley, a clinical neuroimmunologist at University of Michigan Health/Michigan Medicine, observed that some patients sought to avoid staying in the hospital. Despite being seriously ill, they wanted to go home to care for their pets.

Colleagues in nursing and social work “confirmed that, in general, hospital systems really don’t have formalized plans in place to assess pet care needs or to help provide assistance with pet care for patients who are in a hospital.”

Her organization is in early talks with the Michigan Humane Society about partnering to offer foster care for such pets.


Veterinary supplements refer to products such as pills and capsules that address nutritional deficiencies in animals. Increased disposable income, along with rising pet adoption, is likely to drive the global veterinary supplements market in the years to come. In the recent years, the number of pet owners has risen dramatically throughout the world.

As livestock keepers and pet owners are becoming more aware of optimal animal health, manufacturers are seeing a surge in the demand for veterinary supplements. Producers of veterinary supplements, on the other hand, must address the problem of big, unregulated products proliferating in retail outlets and shops. As a result, producers are strengthening their packaging, branding, television advertising and marketing tactics in order to raise awareness about unregulated products in the market.

The global veterinary supplements market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.5 percent during the forecast period, from 2021 and 2031. eCommerce and Internet sales are assisting veterinary supplement companies in expanding their income prospects. The necessary inclusion of minerals and vitamins in supplements to promote the health and welfare of dogs is becoming widely recognized.


Dolittle Search, the leading executive search company committed solely to recruiting top-tier talent for the pet industry, sponsors the third annual Putts for Mutts Golf Tournament, benefitting the Tails That Teach non-profit. Founded in 2017, Tails That Teach educates children about the kind and responsible care of pets and peers.

According to Dolittle Search President Shaylene Keiner, “We are thrilled to sponsor this fun event and help foster the mission of Tails That Teach. The program educates our youth about the inherent benefits of pet ownership through literacy and kindness,” she added.

Lisa Wiehebrink, founder of Tails That Teach, stated, “Dolittle Search has stepped up to help us by sharing their new Senior Recruiter Trish Rodriguez with us during our Putts for Mutts Golf Tournament. She’s a legend in the pet industry, and we’re glad to have her supporting our fundraising efforts along with their sponsorship.”

Tails That Teach educates children about the kind and responsible care of pets and peers by donating developmentally appropriate books to animal organizations and schools. Authored by Wiehebrink, the lesson-based books, Love Me Gently; A Kid’s Guide for Man’s Best Friend, and Gray Whiskers; A Kid’s Guide for Loved Ones Growing Older empower children with self-esteem and help them develop prosocial behaviors through the responsible care of animals.

“Through our books, kids discover how their actions directly impact others by comparing the needs and similarities of pets and people,” said Wiehebrink. “Teaching kids to properly care for pets helps them grow up to be compassionate adults and responsible pet owners. By fostering the human-animal bond, children learn caring connections toward all living beings making a better future for animals and people,” she concluded.

Tails That Teach has donated more than 100,000 books across the globe and is the founder of National Rescue Dog Day, observed annually on May 20 to encourage animal adoption from shelters. Check out

“We simply cannot think of a better way to support the pet industry than by encouraging the education and kindness that Tails That Teach nurtures,” said Keiner.

For more information about Dolittle Search, click or phone 605-600-1715. Follow on social media at LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.


A group of rampant hippopotamuses, introduced by the late Colombia drug lord Pablo Escobar to his private zoo, are being sterilized by the country’s wildlife services, after mounting concern that the 80-strong herd presented a potential environmental disaster as an invasive species.

The so-called “cocaine hippos”, whose number has more than doubled since 2012, were sterilized after worries have mounted over their environmental impact, including a threat to human safety. The decision to neutralize the herd’s breeding potential comes after a study earlier this year concluded that the animals had become a hazard. The hippos, which were originally introduced to Escobar’s Hacienda Napoles estate, are one of the most enduring legacies of the notorious cocaine trafficker, who was killed by police in 1993.

The study, by researchers at Mexican and Colombian universities, had found that the hippos had bred so successfully that they had spread out from their original home, nearly 100 miles east of the city of Medellín, in the Antioquia department, dispersing around the Magdalena river basin and, as such, should be considered a major invasive species.

The study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, recommended the herd be culled. But others promoted sterilization, citing animal rights concerns and support for the African interlopers that have become a tourist attraction that local people feel affection for.

Enrique Zerda Ordóñez, a biologist at Colombia’s National University, told CNN earlier this year that chemical castration was the only way forward but acknowledged that sterilizing a hippo is no easy task. According to an update this week, Colombian government has so far sterilized 24 using a chemical that makes them infertile.

After Escobar’s death, the hippos were left to their own devices at Hacienda Napoles because they proved too difficult to capture and transport. They soon began expanding into the surrounding region.

Whether the new drive to curb the herd will be successful is for now unknown, but the hippos appear well-adapted to their new South American home even at a cost to native species.

The Biological Conservation study cited research on the negative effect of hippo feces on oxygen levels in bodies of water, which can affect fish and ultimately humans. The journal also raised concerns about the transmission of diseases from hippos to humans.


The Orion spacecraft is a vital element of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024. The European Space Agency is overseeing the development of the European Service Module (ESM), the part of the Orion spacecraft that provides air, electricity, and propulsion.

In November 2018, ESA delivered the first module—known as ESM-1—to NASA’s Cape Canaveral in Florida. In a launch expected early 2022, Orion and its attached ESM-1 are expected to fly near the Moon, but not land, as part of an uncrewed test.

ESM-1’s main engine and 32 thrusters will propel Orion into orbit around the Moon and then back to Earth.

“The first mission will bring us uncrewed to the Moon, and the second vehicle is then a vehicle which will bring, NASA is planning four astronauts to the Moon, just circling around the Moon,” explains ESM chief engineer Matthias Gronowski.

“And then the third one—that’s the one which is bringing the first astronaut and the first man and woman back and again, after Apollo, to the Moon.”

ESA says ESM-2 is nearing completion and will soon be transferred to the United States. While ESM-2 will take four astronauts on a flyby around the Moon in late 2022 or early 2023, ESM-3 is expected to land the first humans on the Moon since 1972.

Aerospace firm Airbus has developed and built the high-tech propulsion modules on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Bremen, northern Germany.

Engineers are building on experience of developing the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV), which was used to ferry supplies to the International Space Station. “It’s not the first time that we are assembling a big spacecraft for human-rated flights. So, we know the processes how to do that,” says Airbus project manager Rachid Amekrane.

In February, earlier this year, ESA said it had signed a contract with Airbus for a further three more European Space Modules at a cost of around 650 million euros ($754 million). They’ll be built in Bremen.

Future missions will carry astronauts, with the goal of building an outpost just beyond the Moon that could enable lunar landings and Mars expeditions.

ESA’s collaboration with NASA also means seats for European astronauts on future Artemis missions. “The service module is really key for the Orion vehicle and for NASA achieving the Artemis mission,” says ESM program manager Philipp Deloo.

NASA named its Moon program Artemis after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology, who is the Greek goddess of the moon.


You remember the ad. It asked if you've "got milk?" and said that "milk does a body good."  So, does it? New research suggests it might.  In the study, people who consumed more dairy fat actually had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who drank or ate less dairy, CNN reported. "Our study suggests that cutting down on dairy fat or avoiding dairy altogether might not be the best choice for heart health," Kathy Trieu, a researcher from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia. told CNN.

To study the issue, her team looked to Sweden, measuring the blood levels of a fatty acid mostly found in dairy food. The country is known to be among the world's highest consumers and producers of dairy products. The investigators continued to follow just over 4,000 participants, whose blood was analyzed for an average of 16 years.

The researchers adjusted for known cardiovascular disease risk factors and looked at how many in the group had had heart attacks, strokes and other circulatory illnesses, and how many had died during those intervening years. Those whose blood contained the highest levels of the fatty acid had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease and no increased risk of death from all causes, the study found. The researchers didn't stop at Sweden. They confirmed their findings by combining the results with 17 other studies that included 43,000 people from the United States, the United Kingdom and Denmark, CNN reported.

"While the findings may be partly influenced by factors other than dairy fat, our study does not suggest any harm of dairy fat, per se," said Matti Marklund, a senior researcher at the George Institute and joint senior author of the paper. "We found those with the highest levels actually had the lowest risk of CVD [cardiovascular disease]. These relationships are highly interesting, but we need further studies to better understand the full health impact of dairy fats and dairy foods," Marklund added.

The results should not be interpreted to mean that full-fat dairy products cut the risk of cardiovascular disease, Alice Lichtenstein, director and senior scientist at Tufts University's Cardiovascular Nutrition Research Laboratory in Boston, told CNN.

The study showed that the group with the highest biomarker of dairy intake also had a significantly lower BMI, were more physically active, had a lower smoking rate, lower rates of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a higher level of education, higher intakes of vegetables, fruit and fish, and lower intake of processed meat. All of these factors are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

What researchers do know is that dairy, especially when it's fermented, had been associated with heart benefits. Trieu said, "It is important to remember that although dairy foods can be rich in saturated fat, they are also rich in many other nutrients and can be a part of a healthy diet. However, other fats like those found in seafood, nuts and non-tropical vegetable oils can have greater health benefits than dairy fats."  Brian Power, a lecturer at the department of health and nutritional sciences at Ireland's Institute of Technology Sligo, said the study should prompt scientists to "rethink what we think we know about food and disease." "Dairy products do not need to be avoided," Power, who was not involved in the study, told CNN. "This is largely lost in its translation when communicating what we know about healthy eating." +++++++++

A nonprofit has filed a lawsuit against YouTube claiming the online video sharing and social media platform has not enforced its ban on videos depicting animal abuse out of concern it could impact revenue. 

The organization, Lady Freethinker, filed the paperwork Monday in the California Superior Court for the County of Santa Clara. According to its website, Lady Freethinker is an animal rights group which "gives a voice to those who cannot speak out for themselves."

The organization, founded by Nina Jackel, said in court documents "YouTube has chosen to put profits over principles of ethical and humane treatment of innocent animals."

The nonprofit further claimed it has found and seen videos including "apex predators such as pythons strike at and attack puppies and kittens (and other family pets) in staged interactions." The complaint also said one video came after an advertisement for a Google product.

"There are also many forced predatory interactions in which young animals are purposely tortured, harmed, or killed," the complaint continued.

The group — which contends it has alerted YouTube and its parent company, Google, multiple times — also claimed its 2020 report identified "more than 2,000 videos with over a billion ‘views’ of animal abuse" and "By March of 2021 less than 10% of those videos had been removed."

Lady Freethinker is suing YouTube for breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, false advertising and violating California’s unfair competition law. The group is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, removal of all animal abuse videos and allowing the group to be a part of YouTube’s "Trusted Flagger" program to help remove videos. 

"We agree that content depicting violence or abuse toward animals has no place on YouTube," Company spokesperson Ivy Choi said in a statement to FOX Television Stations Tuesday. "While we’ve always had strict policies prohibiting animal abuse content, earlier this year, we expanded our violent and graphic policy to more clearly prohibit content featuring deliberate physical suffering or harm to animals, including staged animal rescues."

"As with any significant update, it takes time for our systems to fully ramp up enforcement," she continued. "Our teams are working hard to quickly remove violative content and just this year alone, we’ve removed hundreds of thousands of videos and terminated thousands of channels for violating these policies."

YouTube also encourages users to flag and report videos that show animal abuse. With regards to allegations regarding profit, the company said it has strict protocols about displaying ads and bans ads on videos that depict violence and other harmful behavior against an animal. 


Kelsey Barbas let her dogs out to play in the yard in Tampa, Florida, not knowing there was about to be a deadly encounter. Her dog, Tater came back into the house showing odd symptoms.

"He was kind of cowering, he was shaking," Barbas remembers.

Her other dog, Chase brought her to the yard to show her a dead bufo toad.

"I ran back inside, Tater started foaming at the mouth," she said. "And then he started seizing."

A frantic trip to the vet, and then to a second vet, couldn't save Tater.

"I want people to know that these toads are real," said Barbas. "They can kill your animals and it is super sad."

Bufo toads, sometimes called cane toads, secrete a poisonous mucus from glands behind their ears, so if a dog bites down, they ingest the poison.

Veterinarian Meghan Johnson says most encounters are not deadly if an animal is treated by a vet very quickly and it did not get too high a dose of the toad's poison.

If your pet does get ahold of a bufo toad, Johnson says, "decontaminate the mouth by using a wet washcloth and wiping the insides of the gums," and then get to a vet right away.

She says the invasive toads will always be a part of Florida because they like the warm and wet climate. And dogs will always find them attractive animals to chase.

"There are really no good natural predators for them," said Johnson. "They have quite taken hold in Central and South Florida." Kelsey, who is the daughter of FOX 13 Medical Reporter Dr. Joette Giovinco, says she hopes Tater's legacy will be helping other pets and their parents avoid the potentially deadly creatures.

"He was my best friend," she said. "If I can let other people know to make them aware and protect their babies, then I will be happy to share this story."


Africa’s last three mountain glaciers will disappear in the next two decades because of climate change, a new report warned Tuesday amid sweeping forecasts of pain for the continent that contributes least to global warming but will suffer from it most. The report from the World Meteorological Organization and other agencies, released ahead of the UN climate conference in Scotland that starts Oct. 31, is a grim reminder that Africa’s 1.3 billion people remain "extremely vulnerable" as the continent warms more, and at a faster rate, than the global average. And yet Africa’s 54 countries are responsible for less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The new report seizes on the shrinking glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda as symbols of the rapid and widespread changes to come, reports the AP. "Their current retreat rates are higher than the global average. If this continues, it will lead to total deglaciation by the 2040s," it says. The New York Times reports the glacier on Mount Kenya could vanish a decade prior, with the report noting that would establish it as "one of the first entire mountain ranges to lose glaciers due to human-induced climate change."

The Times quotes the head of the UN World Food Program as recently describing Africa as "an area of the world that has contributed nothing to climate change, but now, they’re the ones paying the highest price." Indeed, by 2030, up to 118 million extremely poor people, or those living on less than $1.90 a day, "will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat in Africa if adequate response measures [to deal with climate change] are not put in place," Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko with the African Union Commission writes in the report. Already, the UN has warned that the Indian Ocean island nation of Madagascar is one where “famine-like conditions have been driven by climate change.” And it says parts of South Sudan are seeing the worst flooding in almost 60 years.


Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

The dream of animal-to-human transplants — or xenotransplantation — goes back to the 17th century with stumbling attempts to use animal blood for transfusions. By the 20th century, surgeons were attempting transplants of organs from baboons into humans, notably Baby Fae, a dying infant, who lived 21 days with a baboon heart.  With no lasting success and much public uproar, scientists turned from primates to pigs, tinkering with their genes to bridge the species gap. Pigs have advantages over monkeys and apes. They are produced for food, so using them for organs raises fewer ethical concerns. Pigs have large litters, short gestation periods and organs comparable to humans.  Pig heart valves also have been used successfully for decades in humans. The blood thinner heparin is derived from pig intestines. Pig skin grafts are used on burns and Chinese surgeons have used pig corneas to restore sight.

In the NYU case, researchers kept a deceased woman's body going on a ventilator after her family agreed to the experiment. The kidney did what it was supposed to do — filter waste and produce urine — and didn't trigger rejection.  "It had absolutely normal function," said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team last month at NYU Langone Health. The woman had wished to donate her organs, but they weren't suitable for traditional donation. The family felt "there was a possibility that some good could come from this gift," Montgomery said.  Montgomery himself received a transplant three years ago, a human heart from a donor with hepatitis C because he was willing to take any organ. "I was one of those people lying in an ICU waiting and not knowing whether an organ was going to come in time," he said.

Several biotech companies are in the running to develop suitable pig organs for transplant to help ease the human organ shortage. More than 90,000 people in the U.S. are in line for a kidney transplant. Every day, 12 die while waiting. The advance is a win for Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, the company that engineered the pig and its cousins, a herd of 100 raised in tightly controlled conditions at a facility in Iowa. The pigs lack a gene that produces alpha-gal, the sugar that provokes an immediate attack from the human immune system. In December, the Food and Drug Administration approved the gene alteration in the Revivicor pigs as safe for human food consumption and medicine following more tests.

Experts say tests on nonhuman primates and last month's experiment with a human body pave the way for the first experimental pig kidney or heart transplants in living people in the next several years. Raising pigs to be organ donors feels wrong to some people, but it may grow more acceptable if concerns about animal welfare can be addressed, said Karen Maschke, a research scholar at the Hastings Center, who will help develop ethics and policy recommendations for the first clinical trials under a grant from the National Institutes of Health. "The other issue is going to be: Should we be doing this just because we can?" Maschke said.


The Senate FY 22 Interior Appropriations bill released today excludes a provision exempting protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for the once-abundant but now rapidly declining Greater Sage-Grouse. The House of Representatives has already passed an Interior bill without the rider. Conservation groups are urging that the rider remain out of the final spending agreement.

“Our thanks to Senators Jeff Merkley and Patrick Leahy for showing exemplary conservation leadership by excluding the sage-grouse rider from the Interior bill,” said Steve Holmer, Vice President of Policy for American Bird Conservancy (ABC). “This exemption has been in place for nearly seven years. It's time to once again give the grouse the possibility of ESA protection and the safety net it deserves.”

The Greater Sage-Grouse is the keystone species of sagebrush habitat in the American West. Conserving the grouse also supports 350 other species of conservation concern, including the Pronghorn, Pygmy Rabbit, Mule Deer, native trout, and nearly 200 migratory and western bird species.

As many as 16 million Greater Sage-Grouse once occurred across 297 million acres of sagebrush grasslands in the West. Today, the sagebrush biome and grouse populations continue to decline. Sage-grouse habitat is less than half of what it once was, diminished by invasive species, roads, overgrazing, mining, energy development, agricultural conversion, and fires. The grouse’s populations have declined 80 percent range-wide since 1965 and nearly 40 percent since 2002.

“A recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study provides an excellent resource to understand the magnitude of Greater Sage-Grouse loss, as well as the likelihood that grouse populations will continue to decline,” said Holmer. “It also shows that the species’ range will continue to contract absent substantial new conservation measures.”

The USGS report indicates that current management plans and other regulatory mechanisms are not sufficient to arrest the grouse’s ongoing decline, and that additional conservation measures are needed to stabilize the population.

“Efforts to revive the National Greater Sage-Grouse Planning Strategy can best be accomplished, and will have a greater chance of success, if the Endangered Species Act listing moratorium is ended,” said Holmer.


The Seacoast Science Center in New Hampshire acquired an ultra-rare blue-and-orange lobster believed to be a 1-in-50-million specimen. Just weeks ago, it was put on display in its new tank for slack-jawed visitors to wow over.

The crustacean’s strange coloration likely results from a genetic mutation at a very early stage in its development when cellular split forms its left and right sides of its body. One side is blue and the other orange, split symmetrically down its length in a near-perfect straight line.

Even stranger, the specimen is neither entirely male nor female; its mutation, called gynandromorphism, causes one side (its blue side) to be male and the other (its orange side) female, having genitals of both sexes.

Senior aquarist at the center Rob Royer told The Epoch Times that they acquired the lobster from the Maine State Aquarium in April 2020 under special circumstances during the pandemic. “Because of COVID, they were actually closing down,” Royer said. “They were actually getting rid of a lot of their animals.

“They were either releasing or giving to other aquariums their inventory, so I was able to get a few stars, things for our touch tank, and also this lobster was available.” Judging from the lobster’s size—1 1/2 pounds—Royer estimated it to be about 7 to 8 years old.

“Currently right now, we do have a blue lobster, too, but that one, it’s actually not as rare,” he said. “A blue lobber’s like one in one or two million; but this one being both colors and split like this is one in fifty million.”

Lobsters are typically reddish-brown and express several distinct pigments—including yellow, red, and blue—but gynandromorphism can cause abnormalities during embryonic development. Besides blue and split-colored lobsters, according to the Science Center, a red lobster occurs once in 10 million; a yellow lobster once in 30 million; and a white or albino lobster once in 100 million specimens.

The mutation can occur not only in crustaceans but also in insects, such as butterflies, and in birds. Currently, the center’s orange-and-blue acquisition is settling into its new environment nicely. “It is in good health, it seems like it’s been eating which is good” Royer said, noting that staff have been feeding it chopped-up squid, shrimp, and clams. “It hasn’t molted for us right now, but presently its actually regrowing one of the claws.”

He explained: “Usually, it has a pincher claw which is long and skinny and then a crusher claw, which is much wider and really strong, for crushing shells and stuff. “A lobster and crabs can regrow claws, antenna, and even their eyes.”

The spectacular specimen is currently on display for visitors to enjoy at the Seacoast Science Center where a special tank has been set up for the crustacean—complete with its very own cave—for easy viewing.


Although the pet industry is famously downturn-resistant, hands-on pet care services outside of the veterinary sector — grooming, boarding, pet sitting/walking, and training — were inherently vulnerable to COVID-19 setbacks. Social distancing becomes tricky to impossible in providing these services, and the services themselves are often optional.

As reported in Packaged Facts’ just released Pet Services in the U.S., the two travel-related pet service segments, boarding and pet sitting/walking, suffered the most due to COVID-19, with sales plummeting 45% and 35%, respectively, in 2020. The overall non-medical pet services sector dipped 22% to $8.1 billion.

Difficult as it’s been for this pet services sector, things could have been worse. According to report author David Lummis, “this relative resilience owes to the strong momentum that pet services carried into the pandemic.” Sales momentum was and will resume being driven by the pets-as-family mentality, by brick-and-mortar retailers’ increased emphasis on services rather than products (to better compete with the Internet), by the distinctive pet care spending of Millennials, and by the upper-income household skew driving discretionary spending in the pet industry overall.

Pet service demographics are disproportionately upscale and urban. For example, use of dog training skews to owners with a household income of $100,000 or more, who live in the top 10 metropolitan areas, or who have graduate degrees.

Also softening the stay-at-home blow of the pandemic, and boding well for pet service sales going forward, is the pet acquisition boom in the wake of COVID-19. Packaged Facts estimates that 13% of households (or 23% of current pet-owning households) added a dog to their home in the previous 12 months, while 11% added a cat in that same period.

The non-medical pet services business will continue to benefit from these factors, as well as from the ongoing venture capital investment that now characterizes the pet industry.


Scout Bio, a biotechnology company focused on pet medicine, has closed on a $33 million funding round.

Proceeds from the financing will advance the clinical development of Scout Bio’s lead product candidates targeting diabetes, feline pain associated with osteoarthritis and CKD-associated anemia, in addition to research efforts in further indications.

The Series B2 financing round included new investors including OrbiMed and a major animal health company, along with existing Series B1 investors: Digitalis Ventures, Frazier Healthcare Partners, RiverVest Venture Partners, Greenspring Associates, Adage Capital Management and Correlation Ventures.

“We are pleased to welcome the validating support of world-class investors who share our excitement for innovation in veterinary medicine,” said Mark Heffernan, CEO of Scout Bio. “The financial commitment from our broadened investor base will enable us to further deliver on the clinical development of our programs in a number of conditions, such as diabetes and chronic pain.

“We are very excited to have recently generated meaningful clinical data in patients with CKD-associated anemia, proving that AAV gene therapy can be efficacious in client owned animals with chronic diseases. Scout Bio is on target to deliver on our platform over the next twelve months, making single-shot therapies expressing validated protein therapeutics a reality in veterinary medicine.”

Scout Bio’s therapeutics “are designed to induce long-term expression of therapeutic proteins in pet patients using AAV vector technology,” according to a press release. The company has a research and development collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s Gene Therapy Program, a leader in the field of genetic medicine research. Scout Bio is a private company headquartered in Philadelphia.


Climate-change adaptation can be a difficult subject to discuss. Thinking about how society will adjust to the consequences of climate change seems to smack defeatism.

The more urgent question, many scientists say, is what the U.S. and the world will to do to minimize the damage. Without aggressive action to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade, that damage has the potential to be horrific.

Still, adaptation will be a big part of the future no matter how severe climate change ends up being. By now, at least 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming seems guaranteed, and that’s enough to cause disruptive, dangerous changes to local weather patterns, flood levels, agriculture and more. Communities will make changes in response.

“We no longer have the luxury of debating whether to adapt, but we also shouldn’t have rose-colored glasses about the degree to which adaptation can make a difference,” Christopher Flavelle, a Times reporter who covers the climate, told us.

Some places are already taking steps to control the damage from climate change. Miami Beach is using dirt and rocks to raise the ground beneath homes and roads. Washington, D.C., dug a five-mile-long tunnel to stop low-lying neighborhoods from flooding. Phoenix is coating streets with materials that reflect rather than absorb heat from the sun.

Other communities are looking at how to reorient their economies for a hotter future. Our colleague Andrew Kramer recently traveled to Pevek, Russia — a small port town on the Arctic Ocean, 3,500 miles from Moscow, where Andrew is based — to report on an extreme version of climate-induced economic change.

The town is now refurbishing its port, repairing its library and building an esplanade along the Arctic Ocean. The population has risen about 50 percent, to around 4,500 people.

It’s consistent with President Vladimir Putin’s strategy of using climate change for both economic and geopolitical advantage. Because Russia is a major producer of oil and natural gas — second only to the U.S. — it also has short-term economic reasons to oppose aggressive actions to slow climate change.

In the longer term, however, Russia will almost certainly be unable to avoid costly climate-related destruction, from wildfires, floods and more. “The evidence suggests the risks far outweigh the benefits,” Marisol Maddox, an Arctic analyst at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said, “no matter how optimistic the Russian government’s language.”   ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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