tagged w/ Mice
Guam is being overrun by millions of snakes. The U.S. Government hopes air dropping drugged, dead mice can solve the problem.
By Judd Legum on Feb 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm
Brown tree snakes came to Guam, naturally, on a plane (and on boats). In the 60 years since they arrived, the Brown Tree Snake has “ate almost all the birds.” There are only a few hundred birds left on the island.
The decimation of the bird population, in turn, has lead to an explosion in the spider population. During rainy season there are “40 times more webs” on Guam than on nearby islands.
The snakes — which can grow to 10 feet long — have also been “biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.” The poisoned mice targeting the snakes with be attached to “little parachutes” which the hopes that they get caught up in the trees where the snakes live.
The National Wildlife Research Center is working on developing a more sophisticated solution:
“As a first step in development of an artificial attractant, NWRC scientists successfully characterized the odor of dead and decomposing mice. The next step will be to develop a suitable matrix in which this “mouse essence” can be embedded. Chemical cues involved in brown treesnake behavior, however, are complex and cues that elicit strong responses in the laboratory often have diminished effects in the field. So far, artificial matrix compounds as diverse as tofu, plaster-of-paris, and gelatin have shown promise as attractive lures but snakes have shown only limited interest.”
Why is so much effort being poured into solving this problem? The Brown Tree snake could be headed to Hawaii next. Despite extensive screening efforts, “eight brown tree snakes have been found on Oahu since 1981, hitch-hiking on aircraft from Guam.” An economic analysis found that proliferation of the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii could cost over 2 billion annually from “from medical incidents, power outages, and decreases in tourism.”
The problem illustrates the substantial economic and health risks posed by invasive species in an increasingly global economy. Other risks include the Emerald ash borer on imported Valentine’s Day flowers, the brown marmorated stink bug on citrus fruit and killer algae that grows in tropical fish tanks.Guam is being overrun by millions of snakes. The U.S. Government hopes air dropping... more
US researchers say that mice may have the ability to learn songs based on the sounds they hear. They found that when male mice were housed together they learned to match the pitch of their songs to each other.
More info here - http://www.bigredkev.com/2012/10/musical-mice-learn-new-songs.htmlUS researchers say that mice may have the ability to learn songs based on the sounds... more
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Male house mice produce melodious songs to attract mates, not unlike many birds, according to new research. The ditties are too high-pitched for human hearing, but scientists at Vienna's University of Veterinary Medicine analyzed them and found they convey information about identity and kinship. The findings are published in the journal Physiology & Behavior and in the Journal of Ethology. http://www.freeturbine.com/index.php/news/artists-news/item/mice-sing-to-impress-the-girls-scientists-findMale house mice produce melodious songs to attract mates, not... more
1 year ago
PCRM | PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE...
Government Announces Plan to Replace Animals in Toxicity Testing
December 20, 2011
The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration just announced a joint effort to use high-throughput robotics—instead of animals—to test 10,000 chemicals and drugs for potential toxicity. I’ve asked PCRM’s Chad Sandusky, Ph.D., to provide details:
Current testing is largely based on experiments on animals—rodents, rabbits, dogs—and uses methods that are cruel, time-consuming, expensive, and in some cases use thousands of animals in a single test. For example, a reproductive toxicity study uses 2,600 animals and requires a minimum of two years at a cost of $380,000. PCRM toxicologists and government affairs staff have pushed government and industry scientists to implement nonanimal methods.
The new method was developed after the National Research Council issued a mandate (often referred to as Tox21) several years ago to replace antiquated animal-based (in vivo) toxicity testing with testing using mostly human cells and tissues. At PCRM’s toxicology department, we are convinced this will offer not only a dramatic reduction in animal use, but also a faster and cheaper approach to safety testing.
While Congress has been drafting revisions to the law that regulates chemicals (known as the Toxic Substances Control Act or TSCA), we’ve met with congressional offices to make sure that new nonanimal methods are required as they become more widely available. We’ve successfully gained support for these important changes, so animal testing will be greatly reduced—and eventually eliminated—when the bill is passed.
To learn more about how replacing animals in toxicity testing with this technology will make the world a safer place for people—and for the millions of animals now used in these cruel tests—visit www.ReformToxicityTesting.org
PCRM | PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE...
L.A. considers putting zoo operations in private hands
Officials say the change would save nearly $20 million over five years and prevent possible closure. Critics question the savings and say the move could mean less transparency in animal welfare.
Los Angeles Zoo
Photo: Zoo patrons view a pair of Masai giraffes at the Los Angeles Zoo. Two potential private operators have expressed interest in running the zoo. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
July 28, 2011
Someone else may soon be tending to the misty artificial rain forest at the Los Angeles Zoo where Bruno, a 300-pound orangutan with a wispy orange beard and a hulking frame, makes his home.
The city opened the zoo and botanical gardens in 1966, but officials are now considering a proposal to turn over management to a private operator. That means the gardeners, plumbers and other city employees who help run the zoo could be transferred to other departments and replaced with private workers.
Like any issue involving labor — or animals — the fight over the fate of the zoo has caused a considerable stir.
City officials say the change would save nearly $20 million over the next five years and rescue the zoo from possible budget reductions or even closure. But opponents of the plan question the savings and warn that privatization could mean steeper ticket prices for the zoo's 1.5 million annual visitors and less transparency when it comes to animal welfare.
The zoo plan is only the latest example of a shift in how budget-strapped officials think about "core services" and City Hall's basic obligations to taxpayers. They are also considering proposals to privatize the Los Angeles Convention Center, an animal shelter in the San Fernando Valley and several arts facilities.
Such public-private partnerships are common in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History are two county facilities operated by nonprofit organizations.
"It's not a revolutionary idea," said Miguel Santana, L.A.'s chief administrative officer, who came to City Hall from the county in 2009. "This model has worked across the country as a way of ensuring services are maintained in an era of declining revenues."
According to a draft proposal for the zoo plan, which the City Council's Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee will consider Thursday, Bruno and the rest of the animals would remain the property of the city, along with the zoo's Griffith Park grounds.
All current staff would remain employees of the city, but those who do not hold zoo-specific jobs might be transferred to other city departments. Future hires would be employees of the new operator.
Two potential operators have already stepped forward.
One is the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn., or GLAZA, a nonprofit headquartered on the zoo's campus that raises money for the institution, manages its memberships and operates its concessions. In 2010-11, it raised about $13 million for the zoo, according to GLAZA President Connie Morgan
The other party is Parques Reunidos, a Madrid-based theme park operator that runs 70 amusement parks, water parks and zoos worldwide.
Dave Towne, a former consultant for the L.A. Zoo, said that if a private company takes over, the face of the zoo may change. "Any private, for-profit operation is going to Disney-fy it," he said. "That's just what they do."
Towne, former director of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, oversaw the transition of that zoo's management to a nonprofit 10 years ago. He said private operators run the majority of the nation's major zoos and are often more successful at marketing and fundraising than cities, in part because they are less encumbered by bureaucracy.
Animal activists fear that could result in a lack of transparency. Catherine Doyle, of In Defense of Animals, said that if the zoo is privatized, "it will become even more secretive and insular."
She and others have long accused the zoo's management of not being forthcoming about animal care, and have asked that the operator be required to answer to a city-appointed animal welfare commission.
Adriana Hawkins, a zoo gardener for six years, says everyone will suffer if longtime employees are reassigned. The zoo will lose expertise, she said, and the employees will lose jobs they love.
"I don't want to go down to the harbor; I don't want to spend my life on the freeway," Hawkins said. "I have a passion for the zoo."
Santana and others have said that privatizing the zoo will allow it to flourish. A report he commissioned said that under private management, the zoo would be able to reap up to $3.8 million more each year in revenue, thanks to new opportunities for corporate sponsorship, fundraising and special events.
But City Councilman Richard Alarcon said that's all the more reason to keep control of the zoo. "If a private corporation can make it profitable, why can't we?" he said.
It costs $26 million a year to run the zoo and pay the salaries, benefits and pensions of more than 200 employees. The city contributes about $14.6 million; the rest of the budget comes from ticket sales and donations.
Officials say if the city does not privatize management, that figure could grow as high as $19.4 million by 2015. But even if it does complete a deal, the city will still contribute about $13.8 million to the zoo in 2015, according to the proposal.
The savings may be small in the short term, but Santana insists that it adds up. Next year, he and other officials will have to find a way to close a $200-million budget deficit.
.L.A. considers putting zoo operations in private hands
Officials say the change... more
Los Angeles Times...
San Francisco considers banning the sale of all pets
The proposal started with dogs and cats, expanded to birds and hamsters, and now includes any animal that walks, flies, swims, crawls or slithers — unless you plan to eat it.
By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
June 26, 2011, 6:29 p.m.
Reporting from San Francisco—
The first vision was simple and straightforward: To curtail puppy mills and kitten factories, the sale of cats and dogs should be banned in San Francisco, where the loving guardians of animal companions come to regular blows — politically — with the loving parents of children.
The ban was put on hold last year after animal advocates broadened it to include anything with fur or feathers. Now it's back, with a new name and a new strategy: More is more. The Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal is on its way to the Board of Supervisors, and it hopes to protect everything from Great Danes to goldfish.
Yes, goldfish. And guppies, gobies, gouramies, glowlight tetras, German blue rams. No fish, no fowl, no reptiles, no amphibians, no cats, no dogs, no gerbils, no rats. If it flies, crawls, runs, swims or slithers, you would not be able to buy it in the city named for the patron saint of animals.
Representatives of the $45-billion to $50-billion-a-year pet industry call the San Francisco proposal "by far the most radical ban we've seen" nationwide and argue that it would force small operators to close. Animal activists say it will save small but important lives, along with taxpayer money, and end needless suffering.
"Why fish? Why not fish?" said Philip Gerrie, a member of the city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare and a coauthor of the proposal. "From Descartes on up, in the Western mindset, fish and other nonhuman animals don't have feelings, they don't have emotions, we can do whatever we want to them. If we considered them living beings, we would deal with them differently.… Our culture sanctions this, treating them as commodities and expendable."
The commission voted earlier this month to send a proposal to the Board of Supervisors recommending a ban on the sale of all pets in the city to shore up the adoption of unwanted creatures from shelters and rescue organizations. Commissioners are now looking for a supervisor or two to sponsor such an ordinance.
Snake food was almost exempt from the proposal. After all, pythons have to eat, and they like their lunch alive. But at a heated meeting, Commissioner Pam Hemphill questioned how it could be humane to sell live animals to be fed to other live animals.
"If a snake is caught with a rodent in a box, the rodent can scratch its eye and cause an infection," said Hemphill, who noted that reptiles on display at the California Academy of Sciences eat dead, frozen prey. "The snake can't escape, and the rodent might be stuck for one or two days in the box with the snake because the snake's not hungry right then.
"So it doesn't seem very humane to me," she continued. "And if the frozen [food] works, then I think the killing of the animals to be food is probably more humane."
It is legal in San Francisco to sell live animals for eventual human consumption, and the proposed ban would not stop markets from selling live fish, poultry, turtles or seafood for that purpose.
Rebecca Katz, director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, said her agency supports a ban on pet sales — particularly one that includes the so-called smalls, such as hamsters, which are euthanized at her city shelter at a higher percentage than any other domesticated animal. Although she did not advocate for the inclusion of fish, she is not against it.
"We're the agency that receives the old, filthy fish bowl with the goldfish at risk and have to determine whether we can make them healthy and adopt them out or flush them down the toilet," Katz said. "These are the lucky ones. Most people just flush them themselves."
Jennifer Scarlett, a veterinarian and co-president of the San Francisco SPCA, notes that only a handful of stores in San Francisco sell animals of any kind and that the effect of a ban would be largely symbolic. But she said that symbolism, and the conversation that it raises, is critical in improving the lives of millions of helpless creatures.
"For us as an organization, we've identified the larger problem of online purchasing of dogs, and we hope this is an avenue to get to that," she said. Still, when it comes to birds and fish, "there's a lot of cruelty around where they are sourced from. We see the cruelty."
But Jonathan Ito finds the proposal to be far more than symbolic. To the owner of Animal Connection — who has sold fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, rats, mice and hamsters for a generation — the ban is a threat to his livelihood.
"It would put us out of business and our employees out of work," said Ito, who believes there is "no cause and effect" to the proposal.
Pet stores, he said, do not cause overcrowding at the shelters. They do not promote impulse buys of small, cute creatures that will later be tossed aside by bored children. And they work hard to educate prospective pet owners.
"The animal-rights activists are trying to drive a wedge any way they can in order to get a foothold on changing the ownership of animals," Ito said. "They don't believe they should be bred. They don't believe people are responsible to care for them.… They are about eliminating animals as pets."
PHOTO: Jonathan Ito is the owner of Animal Connection in the Sunset District. The city's Commission of Animal Control and Welfare voted earlier this month to send a proposal to the Board of Supervisors recommending a ban on the sale of all pets in the city to shore up the adoption of unwanted creatures from shelters and rescue organizations. (David Butow, For The Times / June 22, 2011)Los Angeles Times...
San Francisco considers banning the sale of all pets
If mice commuted, their brains might find it progressively harder to navigate the maze of Los Angeles freeways.
A new study reveals that after short-term exposure to vehicle pollution, mice showed significant brain damage — including signs associated with memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.
The mind-numbing toxin is not an exhaust gas, but a mix of tiny particles from burning of fossil fuel and weathering of car parts and pavement, according to the study to be published Thursday, April 7 in the leading journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Many studies have drawn a link between vehicle pollution and health problems. This is the first to explore the physical effect of freeway pollution on brain cells.
The authors found a way to recreate air laden with freeway particulate matter inside the laboratory. Whether in a test tube or in live mice, brain cells showed similar responses:
Neurons involved in learning and memory showed significant damage,
The brain showed signs of inflammation associated with premature aging and Alzheimer's disease,
Neurons from developing mice did not grow as well.
The freeway particles measured between a few dozen to 200 nanometers — roughly one-thousandth the width of a human hair, and too small for car filtration systems to trap.
"You can't see them, but they are inhaled and have an effect on brain neurons that raises the possibility of long-term brain health consequences of freeway air," said senior author Caleb Finch, an expert in the effects of inflammation and holder of the ARCO/William F. Kieschnick Chair in the Neurobiology of Aging.
Co-author Constantinos Sioutas, of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, developed the unique technology for collecting freeway particulates in a liquid suspension and recreating polluted air in the laboratory. This made it possible to conduct a controlled study on cultured brain cells and live animals. (For all co-authors and access to the study after the embargo lifts: http://ehponline.o … /ehp.1002973)
Exposure lasted a total of 150 hours, spread over 10 weeks, in three sessions per week lasting five hours each.
"Of course this leads to the question, 'How can we protect urban dwellers from this type of toxicity?' And that's a huge unknown," Finch said.
The authors hope to conduct follow-up studies on issues such as:
Memory functions in animals exposed to freeway particulates,
Effects on development of mice exposed prenatally,
Lifespan of exposed animals,
Interaction of particulates with other components of smog, such as heat and ozone,
Potential for recovery between periods of exposure,
Comparison of effects from artificially and naturally occurring nanoparticles,
Chemical interactions between freeway particulates and brain cells.
If further studies confirm that freeway particulates pose a human health hazard, solutions will be hard to find.
Even an all-electric car culture would not solve the problem on its own, Finch said.
"It would certainly sharply decrease the local concentration of nanoparticles, but then at present electrical generation still depends upon other combustion processes — coal — that in a larger environment contribute nanoparticles anyway.
"It's a long-term global project to reduce the amount of nanoparticles around the world. Whether we clean up our cars, we still have to clean up our power generation."
http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-freeway-air-bad-mouse-brain.html#shareIf mice commuted, their brains might find it progressively harder to navigate the maze... more
Scientists create animals that are part-human
Stem cell experiments leading to genetic mixing of species
Rich Pedroncelli / AP
PHOTO: Sheep that have partially human livers, hearts, brains and other organs are shown here at the University of Nevada, in Sparks, Nev., on April 27.
updated 4/29/2005 5:43:59 PM ET
RENO, Nev. — On a farm about six miles outside this gambling town, Jason Chamberlain looks over a flock of about 50 smelly sheep, many of them possessing partially human livers, hearts, brains and other organs.
The University of Nevada-Reno researcher talks matter-of-factly about his plans to euthanize one of the pregnant sheep in a nearby lab. He can’t wait to examine the effects of the human cells he had injected into the fetus’ brain about two months ago.
“It’s mice on a large scale,” Chamberlain says with a shrug.
As strange as his work may sound, it falls firmly within the new ethics guidelines the influential National Academies issued this past week for stem cell research.
In fact, the Academies’ report endorses research that co-mingles human and animal tissue as vital to ensuring that experimental drugs and new tissue replacement therapies are safe for people.
Doctors have transplanted pig valves into human hearts for years, and scientists have injected human cells into lab animals for even longer.
Biological mixing of species
But the biological co-mingling of animal and human is now evolving into even more exotic and unsettling mixes of species, evoking the Greek myth of the monstrous chimera, which was part lion, part goat and part serpent.
In the past two years, scientists have created pigs with human blood, fused rabbit eggs with human DNA and injected human stem cells to make paralyzed mice walk.
Particularly worrisome to some scientists are the nightmare scenarios that could arise from the mixing of brain cells: What if a human mind somehow got trapped inside a sheep’s head?
The “idea that human neuronal cells might participate in 'higher order' brain functions in a nonhuman animal, however unlikely that may be, raises concerns that need to be considered,” the academies report warned.
Mice with human brains
In January, an informal ethics committee at Stanford University endorsed a proposal to create mice with brains nearly completely made of human brain cells. Stem cell scientist Irving Weissman said his experiment could provide unparalleled insight into how the human brain develops and how degenerative brain diseases like Parkinson’s progress.
Stanford law professor Hank Greely, who chaired the ethics committee, said the board was satisfied that the size and shape of the mouse brain would prevent the human cells from creating any traits of humanity. Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice’s behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior.
The Academies’ report recommends that each institution involved in stem cell research create a formal, standing committee to specifically oversee the work, including experiments that mix human and animal cells.
Weissman, who has already created mice with 1 percent human brain cells, said he has no immediate plans to make mostly human mouse brains, but wanted to get ethical clearance in any case. A formal Stanford committee that oversees research at the university would also need to authorize the experiment.
Harvesting human organs from sheep
Few human-animal hybrids are as advanced as the sheep created by another stem cell scientist, Esmail Zanjani, and his team at the University of Nevada-Reno. They want to one day turn sheep into living factories for human organs and tissues and along the way create cutting-edge lab animals to more effectively test experimental drugs.
Zanjani is most optimistic about the sheep that grow partially human livers after human stem cells are injected into them while they are still in the womb. Most of the adult sheep in his experiment contain about 10 percent human liver cells, though a few have as much as 40 percent, Zanjani said.
Because the human liver regenerates, the research raises the possibility of transplanting partial organs into people whose livers are failing.
Zanjani must first ensure no animal diseases would be passed on to patients. He also must find an efficient way to completely separate the human and sheep cells, a tough task because the human cells aren’t clumped together but are rather spread throughout the sheep’s liver.
Zanjani and other stem cell scientists defend their research and insist they aren’t creating monsters — or anything remotely human.
“We haven’t seen them act as anything but sheep,” Zanjani said.
Zanjani’s goals are many years from being realized.
He’s also had trouble raising funds, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating the university over allegations made by another researcher that the school mishandled its research sheep. Zanjani declined to comment on that matter, and university officials have stood by their practices.
Allegations about the proper treatment of lab animals may take on strange new meanings as scientists work their way up the evolutionary chart. First, human stem cells were injected into bacteria, then mice and now sheep. Such research blurs biological divisions between species that couldn’t until now be breached.
Combining monkeys and people
Drawing ethical boundaries that no research appears to have crossed yet, the Academies recommend a prohibition on mixing human stem cells with embryos from monkeys and other primates. But even that policy recommendation isn’t tough enough for some researchers.
“The boundary is going to push further into larger animals,” New York Medical College professor Stuart Newman said. “That’s just asking for trouble.”
Newman and anti-biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin have been tracking this issue for the last decade and were behind a rather creative assault on both interspecies mixing and the government’s policy of patenting individual human genes and other living matter.
Years ago, the two applied for a patent for what they called a “humanzee,” a hypothetical — but very possible — creation that was half human and chimp.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office finally denied their application this year, ruling that the proposed invention was too human: Constitutional prohibitions against slavery prevents the patenting of people.
Newman and Rifkin were delighted, since they never intended to create the creature and instead wanted to use their application to protest what they see as science and commerce turning people into commodities.
And that’s a point, Newman warns, that stem scientists are edging closer to every day: “Once you are on the slope, you tend to move down it.”MSN...
Scientists create animals that are part-human
Stem cell experiments... more
These questions are of great interest to scientists as, while many organisms produce genetically regulated vocalizations, only a select few species (such as ourselves) can actually learn these vocalizations. If it turns out that mice can indeed learn new songs, it would provide a very convenient mammalian model of vocal learning.
Whether or not mouse song involves learning either through auditory imitation or behavioral feedback (e.g., from the mother), however, is a subject of hot debate, and the answer is proving elusive. To highlight the difficulties facing researchers, two studies published on March 9, 2011 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE have come to differing conclusions about whether mouse vocalization patterns are innate or learned.
In the first study, researchers from Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and the MRC Institute of Hearing Research conducted a study to understand developmental changes in mouse song that would allow parents to distinguish older mice from younger mice. They found that many features of mouse song changed with age. For example, the pattern of syllables within songs became more complex.
According to lead author Jasmine Grimsley, "We concluded that the increased complexity of song suggests that mice may be capable of vocal learning, but we also recognized that other factors besides learning, such as genetically controlled neuromuscular development, might explain the increased complexity. We conducted our study in normal hearing, CBA/CaJ mice, and we intend to use the results to understand how the brain codes the meaning of these sounds."
The second study, a collaboration among Azabu University, the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, and the Okanoya Emotional Information Project used a cross-fostering experiment to test whether the vocalization patterns were more strongly influenced by genetics or environment. The researchers used males from two mouse strains, C57BL/6 and BALB/c, which emit different vocalizations. Males from each strain were raised in litters of the opposite strain until weaning. Vocalization patterns were recorded at 10-20 weeks of age, and the researchers compared vocalizations of cross-fostered mice to control mice reared by genetic parents.
According to first author Takefumi Kikusui, "We first showed that two strains of mice, BALB and B6, sing strain-unique song types. We then showed that rearing BALB by B6 parents do not change the BALB characteristics of the song, and vise-versa. The fact that the cross-fostered animals sang songs similar to those of their genetic parents suggests that the structure of this courtship sound is under strong genetic control."
When asked about the results from the other study, corresponding author Dr. Kazuo Okanoya noted that, "they demonstrate substantial developmental changes in social vocalizations with age. They also characterized complex behavioral phenotypes of mice vocalizations. However, in our opinion, developmental and phonotypical complexities of mice vocalizations are not related with whether or not the vocalizations are learned."
Dr Grimsley said of the Japanese research, "while we believe that the study by Kikusui et al. indicates that some aspects of mouse songs are genetically driven, the conclusion that vocal learning does not occur in mice is too strong for the experiments that they performed. In our opinion, the jury is still out regarding whether mice do, or do not, exhibit vocal learning."
Which is it then, nature or nurture? It appears that it is still too early to say for sure, and we do not yet know whether the mating songs of mice are genetically determined or learned from their parents. What is certain, however, is that even carefully performed scientific research does not always produce straight-forward answers.These questions are of great interest to scientists as, while many organisms produce... more
IUPPER DARBY, Pa. — It’s a story “Of Mice and Men” but with a modern twist — real mice.
Monday, the owner of Nina’s Bella Pizzeria in Upper Darby, 8445 West Chester Pike, was charged with putting mice in two of his competitors’ pizza shops.
“It’s terrorism by mice,” said Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood. “I’ve never had to deal with mice as an instrument of crime before, but mice multiply. They spread disease. This really could have caused a lot of damage.”
Nikolas Galiatsatos, 47, of 1000 Conestoga Road, Bryn Mawr, was charged with criminal mischief, harassment, disorderly conduct and cruelty to animals.
Pizza Owner Planted Mice On Competitor: MyFoxPHILLY.com
Rodents Of Mass Destruction?: MyFoxPHILLY.com
According to police, Galiatsatos walked into Verona Pizza at 8917 West Chester Pike about 2 p.m. Monday carrying a plastic bag and asked to use the restroom.
“He offered to buy a bag of chips, but I told him, ‘Don’t worry about it,’” said Fanis Facas, who owns Verona with his brothers, John and Nick. “Then I heard a bunch of banging from the restroom.”
When Galiatsatos exited the restroom, he was no longer carrying the bag, Facas said.
“I put two and two together and went to check the bathroom after he left,” Facas said.
Facas added that he saw footprints on the toilet and thought the man may have put drugs or contraband in the bathroom’s drop ceiling, and alerted two Upper Darby bicycle officers who were eating lunch at the restaurant.
“That guy must have put something into the ceiling,” Facas told the officers.
He stood on a chair and removed a plastic bag with brown paper bag inside it.
When they looked inside the bag, they saw three mice.
Officers Eric Collella and Ryan Wiseley went outside to look for the man. They saw him get out of his car across the street and walk into Uncle Nick’s Pizza at 9000 West Chester Pike, Chitwood said.
Galiatsatos was carrying a bag going in, but when police stopped to question him after exiting the pizza shop, he was empty-handed.
Uncle Nick’s owner Harry Saritsoglou said Galiatsatos walked in and asked for Saritsoglou’s mother, who wasn’t around.
Evidently, the two families have known each other for years and Galiatsatos’ brother used to work at Uncle Nick’s before Nina’s Bella Pizzeria opened a few months ago.
“We’ve been here for eight years and he’s never stopped by to say hi. It was just odd,” said Saritsoglou. “When he was walking out, he said, ‘Mind if I throw this out?’ and had a weird look on his face. I knew something was up. Whatever was in that bag wasn’t good.”
Saritsoglou looked in the trash and found a bag filled with six mice — five alive and one dead. He also saw Galiatsatos being stopped by police, and gave the bag of mice to police when they came to investigate minutes later.
“This was just slimy and downright wrong,” Saritsoglou said. “He knows he’s going to pay for it. I want him punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Facas also wants Galiatsatos punished for the damage the mice could have caused to his business.
“I’ve never met or seen this guy before today,” Facas said. “I now know he’s a competing business owner, but still don’t understand why he would do this. I just thank God none of the mice got out. That could have really hurt my business and my customers.”
While in police custody, Galiatsatos told police he bought the nine mice for $10 at Worldwide Aquarium on Garrett Road, Upper Darby.
“Apparently, he has a mice problem at his store and he told police he was getting even with the other store owners who he believed were responsible for his mice problem,” Chitwood said.
Owners of Verona and Uncle Nick’s say that’s ridiculous. Both have been in business for years and didn’t worry about another pizza shop two blocks away.
“We’ve had the owners of both places in here to take their statements,” Chitwood said. “There’s really no telling what kind of damage that could have been done if the shop owners and police hadn’t acted quickly.”
Police gave the mice to animal control to determine their fate. Galiatsatos is scheduled to be arraigned today in Upper Darby Upper Darby District Court.
http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/articles/2011/03/01/region/doc4d6c27c9994e5380156051.txt?viewmode=fullstoryIUPPER DARBY, Pa. — It’s a story “Of Mice and Men” but with a... more
A study investigating a new treatment for gastrointestinal disease had an unexpected side effect: It reversed baldness.Scientists were testing a new chemical compound on mice genetically altered to overproduce a stress hormone known as corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), which, among other effects, causes mice to lose their hair as they age.
:http://news.discovery.com/human/baldness-cure-hair-loss-110216.htmlA study investigating a new treatment for gastrointestinal disease had an unexpected... more
2 years ago
If you want lasting vision, eat your fish and nuts: The omega-3 fatty acids in these foods may protect against two leading causes of human blindness, a new study in mice has found.
:http://www.livescience.com/12801-omega-3s-protect-eye-diseases.htmlIf you want lasting vision, eat your fish and nuts: The omega-3 fatty acids in these... more
2 years ago
ONE day, there may be more than X-ray machines and full-body scanners awaiting you at the airport. Listen out for the snuffling of sniffer mice as you pass through security.
The critters will not be angling for a snack, though. They are part of a bomb-detecting unit created by Israeli start-up company BioExplorers, based in Herzeliya, which claims that trained mice can be better than full-body scanners and intrusive pat-downs at telling a bona fide passenger from a terrorist carrying explosives.
Eran Lumbroso conceived the mouse-based explosives detector while serving as a major in the Israeli navy. Along with his brother, Alon, he founded the company and built a device that looks much like an average airport metal detector or full-body scanner.
Along one side of an archway, a detection unit contains three concealed cartridges, each of which houses eight mice. During their 4-hour shifts in the detector, the mice mill about in a common area in each cartridge as air is passed over people paused in the archway and through the cartridge. When the mice sniff traces of any of eight key explosives in the air, they are conditioned to avoid the scent and flee to a side chamber, triggering an alarm. To avoid false positives, more than one mouse must enter the room at the same time.
"It's as if they're smelling a cat and escaping," Eran says. "We detect the escape." Unlike dogs, which are often trained for explosives and drugs detection, mice don't require constant interaction with their trainers or treats to keep them motivated. As a result, they can live in comfortable cages with unlimited access to food and water. Each mouse would work two 4-hour shifts a day, and would have a working life of 18 months.
What's more, mice beat dogs for olfactory talent, and by much more than a nose: dogs have 756 olfactory receptor genes, while mice have 1120, resulting in a more acute sense of smell.
Attacks such as the recent bombing of Domodedovo airport in Moscow, Russia, are fuelling interest in exploring new methods for keeping travellers safe. Low-tech alternatives may appeal to people who fear new full-body scanners are exposing them to harmful radiation and invading their privacy. "Animals' noses are always a good solution, and the mice don't see you naked," says Bruce Schneier, who runs the blog Schneier on Security.
However, Schneier adds that there are drawbacks that could prevent their widespread use. For instance, their cages need regular cleaning, and new mice would have to be trained all the time because of their short working life. And while useful for explosives, they could never replace current baggage scanners and metal detectors.
Nonetheless, the company ran its first field test in December last year at Azrieli Center, a large shopping mall in Tel Aviv. More than 1000 people passed through the detector, 22 of whom were asked to hide mock explosives in pockets or under shirts. All 22 packages were detected, the Lumbrosos claim, adding that the false-alarm rate was less than 0.1 per cent.
Like a moth to an explosive
Moths have an exquisite sense of smell, so their ability to sniff out improvised explosive devices was recently tested by Andrew Myrick and Tom Baker at Pennsylvania State University in University Park.
The team built a detector using four live moths which were immobilised in thin, aerated tubes.
Different chemicals produce distinct voltages on the antennae that the moths use to sense aromas, so the team wired up the moths to record these levels.
Software inferred the explosive source's direction and distance based on the strength of signals coming from the insects. The detector was then able to home in on it to within 20 centimetres from 23 metres away.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20927985.700-sniffer-mice-have-a-nose-for-explosives.htmlONE day, there may be more than X-ray machines and full-body scanners awaiting you at... more
If deficiency diseases like rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults are not reason enough for you to ensure sufficient intake of viatmin D, this should. Deficiency of vitamin D can affect lung structure and function, states a new study.If deficiency diseases like rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults... more
2 years ago
The same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage caused by spine injuries, offering a better chance of recovery, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when they injected the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) into rats suffering spinal cord injuries, the rodents were able to walk again, albeit with a limp.
The only side effect was that the treated mice temporarily turned blue.
The results of the study, published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," build on research conducted by the same center five years ago.
In August 2004, scientists revealed how Adenosine triphosphate, which is known as ATP and described as the "energy currency of life," surges to the spinal cord soon after injury occurs.
Researchers found that the sudden influx of ATP killed off healthy cells, making the initial injury far worse. But when they injected oxidized ATP into the injury, it was found to block the effect of ATP, allowing the injured rats to recover and walk again.
"While we achieved great results when oxidized ATP was injected directly into the spinal cord, this method would not be practical for use with spinal cord-injured patients," said lead researcher Maiken Nedergaard, professor of Neurosurgery and director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
"First, no one wants to put a needle into a spinal cord that has just been severely injured, so we knew we needed to find another way to quickly deliver an agent that would stop ATP from killing healthy motor neurons. Second, the compound we initially used, oxidized ATP, cannot be injected into the bloodstream because of its dangerous side effects."
Back in 2004, Nedergaard's team discovered that the spinal cord was rich in a molecule called P2X7, which is also known as "the death receptor" for its ability to allow ATP to latch onto motor neurons and send the signals which eventually kill them.
Nedergaard knew that BBG could thwart the function of P2X7, and its similarity to a blue food dye approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982 gave her the confidence to test it intravenously.
It worked. The rats given BBG immediately after their injury could walk again with a limp. Those that didn't receive a dose never regained their mobility.
Nedergaard told CNN that there is currently no standard treatment for patients with spinal injury when they reach the hospital emergency room.
"Right now we only treat 15 percent of the patients we receive with steroids and many hospitals question if that even works for that 15 percent; it's a very moderate benefit to only a subset of patients. So right now 85 percent of patients are untreated," she said.
Nedergaard said the research team isn't claiming that BBG can cure spinal injuries, instead that it offers a potential improvement in patients' condition.
"Even a moderate improvement in functional performance of the patient is a big, big event for these patients," she said. "They can control their bladder. If they can just take small steps instead of sitting in a wheelchair all the time, it's a tremendous benefit for these patients," she added.
The dose must be administered immediately after the injury, before additional tissue dies as a result of the initial injury.
Researchers are currently pulling together an application to be lodged with the FDA to stage the first clinical trials of BBG on human patients.
"Our hope is that this work will lead to a practical, safe agent that can be given to patients shortly after injury, for the purpose of decreasing the secondary damage that we have to otherwise expect," said Steven Goldman, Chair of the University of Rochester Department of Neurology.
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/07/28/spinal.injury.blue.dye/index.htmlThe same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage... more
POWER&MONEY ; G-Point mouse // Current
( 2.0 version,....still worth fingering that link )
The G-Point mouse will be a hit in your office
note - [- the PERFECT "anonymous gift" for that next office Christmas party !]
So we have a category for quite some time called “Power & Money” where we were supposed to post cool stuff but since we were too focused on chicks we haven’t added anything there yet but today we’re found something so awesome that was a MUST post here. We’re talking about the coolest mouse ever which is called G-Point and will probably the reason why all your coworkers will envy you.
The G-Point Mouse is an eye catching gadget designed by Andy Kurovets that looks almost exactly like a real vag with the scroll ball and the quick access button combined to take the place of the… you know! It’s never been easier to find the G-Spot than with this G-Spot mouse and this awesome gadget will probably make your work time A LOT more pleasant.
The G-Point mouse is discreet enough to make your work mates think they are imagining the mouse’s true identity but once you know what it is, you definitely KNOW what it is! This cool mouse is just a concept piece at the moment but I’m pretty sure it will prove to be a hit and will be the best gift at an office party!
LINK - - -
http://current.com/entertainment/comedy/92857271_power-money-g-point-mouse.htmPOWER&MONEY ; G-Point mouse // Current
( 2.0 version,....still worth fingering... more
Scientists are claiming a breakthrough towards same-sex couples having their own genetic children. Scientists have produced male and female mice from two fathers using stem cell technology...
http://bit.ly/dWoSEyScientists are claiming a breakthrough towards same-sex couples having their own... more
The experiment on mice is said to be a process into preventing/slowing major health problems in the elderly like heart disease, strokes and dementia, but Gawker had a great shorten version 'eternal life, dun dun dunn'.
By removing the enzyme telomerase in mice the scientists hoped to slow the ageing process, but found they had reversed it when the aged organs were restored.
"n a nutshell, the scientists bred a group of mice without an enzyme called telomerase, which helps prevent protective chromosome "caps" called telomeres from shrinking—a shortening that is closely linked with the degenerative properties of aging. Without telomerase, the mice aged rapidly; but when the enzyme was reactivated in those same mice, it "substantially" restored their bodies—including growing new neurons."-Gawker
However, the articles show doubts over if the experiment would have the same results on human cells, with Gawker saying it would raise the risk of cancer. So guessing we're now going to be over run with immoral mice overlords...omg Douglas Adams was right.The experiment on mice is said to be a process into preventing/slowing major health... more