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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…

Last known living rescue dog of 9/11

On this anniversary of 9/11 we remember not only the victims but also the heroes of that fateful day including countless first responders as well as their rescue animals that searched tirelessly for victims. The last known living rescue dog from 9/11 is Bretagne, a 15-year old golden retriever who returned to the memorial site…

Super-sniffing elephants

Like Aesop’s fable, rats have another reason to be envious of elephants. Elephants also have significantly more genes that can detect different smells (i.e. olfactory receptor genes) than other super-sniffers like rats and dogs. In fact, compared to 13 other species, African elephants have 1,948 genes related to smell putting them ahead of the previous…

Heroic cats

Just in case you have not seen this viral YouTube video of the family cat saving a boy from a vicious dog attack, I have embedded it below. I think this kitty deserves a nice fresh fish for dinner…every day. An article was posted today in NBCNews featuring the heroics of other house cats. Here…

Day 3 of the Experimental Biology meeting was arguably one of the most exciting for comparative physiology. Here are the highlights from Monday: Morning Seminars: Birgitte McDonald from Aarhus University, Denmark presented, “Deep-diving sea lions exhibit extreme bradycardia in long-duration dives.” Birgitte and Dr. Paul Ponganis measured the heart rate of California sea lions (Z.…

New discovery about dog eyes

I came across this really interesting press release from the University of Pennsylvania that I just had to share. Despite having a close relationship with dogs for thousands of years, we are still making new discoveries about our canine friends. Drs. William Beltran (School of Veterinary Medicine), Artur Cideciyan (Perelman School of Medicine), and colleagues…

A paper published in Current Biology describes research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the sound processing regions of brains in humans and dogs (border collies and golden retrievers). The subjects listened to almost 300 sounds (vocalizations from dogs and humans as well as non-vocal sounds) or no sound as a control. They…

Scientists have identified the origin of a genome for a specific type of transmissible cancer that has spread between dogs beginning 11,000 years ago!

A dog’s compass

Okay, here is something rather interesting that I came across today. Scientists have discovered that dogs will align their bodies with the Earth’s magnetic field before excretion. What is even more amazing is that the scientists actually observed over 5,000 pee breaks and over 1,800 defecations to come to this conclusion. Their findings suggest that…

Researchers are studying tumors in the mammary glands of dogs to help understand breast cancer in humans with the goal of developing new treatments. Follow On Twitter: @DrDoScienceBlog