Veterinary

The internet is rife with funny cat videos showing their reactions to a plant commonly known as “catnip.” What is catnip, does it affect all felines, is it safe for cats, and should humans use it? This Special Feature investigates these questions and more. Share on PinterestDoes your feline friend go crazy for catnip? In
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Humans and some other mammals stand out among animals by showing kindness and helping other individuals in need. But do birds also demonstrate selflessness? The answer is “yes” — at least in the case of the African gray parrot. Altruism — the act of offering help to someone in need even if it does not
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Probiotic supplements have become increasingly popular in the United States, and a recent study asks whether cats could benefit from them. Though the results hint at certain benefits, the authors call for more work. Now available in a range of products, including drinks, breakfast cereals, and yogurts, probiotics promise improved digestive and overall health. However,
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As the planet continues to warm, researchers are increasingly pointing out the ways in which global warming will affect our health and that of the species around us. Share on PinterestNew research suggests that sparrows may have decreased in size due to global warming. Medical News Today have reported on many of these studies. For
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A recent paper describes how a group of scientists painted zebra stripes on cows. The authors conclude that this unusual method might help protect livestock from biting flies and, consequently, help reduce the use of pesticides. Why do zebras have stripes? Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories inform us that the stripes developed because the zebra
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An unusual study explores a question that has puzzled researchers for a long time: Why are giant pandas so tiny when they are born? Kathleen Smith, a biology professor at Duke University in Durham, NC, and her former student Peishu Li, conducted the new research, which appears in the Journal of Anatomy. There are a
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New research suggests that a rat’s experiences may act as an early warning system to its fellow rodents. Share on PinterestNew research sheds light on the mechanism of empathy in rats. Empathy is the ability to understand someone else’s emotional experiences. Typically, we think of empathy as a noble quality that we relate to compassion.
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Researchers studying a group of dolphins in the Bahamas have made an intriguing discovery: Most of the group had a right-side bias, much in the way that most humans are right-handed. Share on PinterestMost dolphins, like humans, appear to have a right-side bias. Dolphins are cetaceans: water-dwelling mammals. Currently, scientists recognize at least 40 species
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Many mammals gain weight and become insulin resistant during fall. However, these changes are easily reversible, and the mammals will not develop any further unhealthful symptoms. Researchers believe that the explanation for this lies in mechanisms associated with hibernation. Share on PinterestHibernating mammals may have genetic mechanisms that protect them from obesity. Image credit: Little
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Currently, fixing a broken wing bone requires two intrusive operations. A recent study, however, concludes that using dog and sheep bone might reduce the number of surgeries and enhance recovery. Share on PinterestA new study in pigeons describes a better way to fix broken wings. Although veterinary science has advanced in leaps and bounds over
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For the first time, researchers have managed to record the heart rate of the largest animal that has ever lived on planet Earth — the blue whale. Share on PinterestResearchers have recorded the heart rate of the world’s largest animal. The blue whale, also known as a sulfur-bottom whale, or by its Latin name, Balaenoptera
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A recent investigation into the microbiome of bats finds that they follow different rules to other mammals. The authors wonder whether these differences might make them more susceptible to environmental changes. Share on PinterestA new paper investigates the gut bacteria of bats. Gut bacteria are vital to human health. Our resident microbes help us digest
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New research examines the psychological effects of punishment based training on companion dogs and finds that such training methods are detrimental to the welfare of the dogs, both in the short and long term. Share on PinterestA new study explains why punishing your dog, by yelling, for example, may not be a good idea. What
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Zoologists have found that a species of small-brained birds — the vulturine guineafowl of Kenya — organize themselves in multilayered societies. This finding has made the scientists question previous assumptions about which animal species can engage in complex social relationships and why. Share on PinterestVulturine guineafowl can form multilevel societies — previously, scientists had thought
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Zombies have become staple figures of popular culture, and the zombie apocalypse is a trope that features in many books, movies, and TV series. But are there actual, real cases of zombiism in nature? Read this special feature to find out. Share on PinterestAre there any real cases of zombification? We investigate. Zombie. The walking
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Recent sightings of swines using tools add to the evidence that humans are not the only intelligent and crafty animals around. Visayan warty pigs are fully capable of using tools to help them construct their nests, researchers have found. In the past, researchers used to think that the use of tools — using objects to
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After canine surgery, it is relatively common for the wound to become infected. However, it is not clear how often this occurs, what increases the risk, and how much it affects treatment costs. A new study looks for answers. Share on PinterestA new study takes a fresh look at infections following canine surgery. Although scientists
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New research in rhesus monkeys shows that when they experience social adversity for a significant period, the long lasting effects remain in their genes. The findings shed light on how humans also respond to socially stressful experiences. New research examines the effects of chronic social stress in rhesus macaques. Jenny Tung, a professor of biology
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A new study shows that the genomes of cetaceans, which include dolphins and whales, have changed in important ways to allow these animals to transition from terrestrial to aquatic environments. How did the loss of certain genes allow dolphins and other sea mammals to transition from a terrestrial to an aquatic environment? Although cetaceans, such
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For centuries, humans have bred dogs for specific traits or behaviors, developing breeds with a wide array of “specializations,” from companionship to herding or scent hunting. A new study shows that this selectiveness has led to distinctive dog breeds with distinctive brains. Breeding dogs for different purposes has led to significant differences, not just in
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