Dr. Dolittle

Foods Fido should avoid on Thanksgiving

I came across this interesting literature on what foods you should avoid feeding a dog from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control:

Gotta love glow “worms”!

Jeff Cremer, a nature photographer, discovered mysterious tiny glow worms (~0.5 inches long) in Peru near the Tambopata Research Center a couple of years ago. Scientists still have not identified the species of these glow “worms”, but suspect they are actually click beetle larvae.¬†Entomologists Aaron Pomerantz, Mike Bentley, and Geoff Gallice from the University of…

I recently received the following question from a reader based on a prior blog entry on how a medication used to treat epilepsy also helps reverse memory loss with¬†Alzheimer’s disease. You can see the original blog here Question: “I find it a little confusing as to how it is possible that this medication can improve…

New treatment for osteoporosis?

  A recent review published by Dr. Graziana Colaianni (University of Bari, Italy) and colleagues in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, has summarized recent research on the role of the hormone oxytocin in the regulation of bone mass. Bone remodeling and rebuilding are constantly occurring in our bodies. Osteoporosis…

Ask the Experts: Growing new limbs

A reader sent me the following question: “How does a lizard grow a new tail?” This was a very timely question as new research has shed light on this very phenomenon. A team of experts at Arizona State University led by Dr. Kenro Kusumi and colleagues have been studying limb regeneration in lizards.   The…

And the beat goes on…

Drs. Thomas Eliot Haworth and Holly Shiels (University of Manchester) teamed up with Drs. Jaakko Haverinen and Matti Vornanen (University of Eastern Finland) to explore how electrical signaling in the hearts of fish have evolved by comparing Teleost fish with sturgeons. Their findings were published this month in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory,…

Your vote needed!!

Just in case you felt like casting a vote for a cute and cuddly cause, the Phoenix Zoo is asking for help in naming a new baby Bornean orangutan. He was born on September 2, 2014 to parents Bess and Michael. You can vote here Voting ends November 6th and the winning name will be…

Enjoy this video of how animals at the Brookfield Zoo celebrated Halloween early this year. Happy Halloween!

Sex Differences in Stress Responses

A recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology presents evidence that altering the sex of just the fat body in heads of fruit flies (Drosophila) causes them to have stress responses similar to the opposite sex. Males and females vary in their response to stress. It turns…

Can pets contract ebola?

According to a new statement from the CDC, while Ebola is deadly to humans and animals, it is very difficult to catch. Therefore, they concluded that pets are not at significant risk of Ebola in the US. Moreover, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming ill in Africa. For more information, visit…