This study doesn’t mean we should hate bats, or try to eradicate them. These flying animals play a huge role in the environment, foraging on insects and even acting as pollinators. Rather, this study suggests we need to keep our distance from bats. Cavers in particular should take note, as spelunking puts them at high risk of coming into contact with these animals. … [Read more...] about Which Creature Is Most Likely to Cause the Next Catastrophic Pandemic?
The agency is also working with the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Partners to take photographs of the dead animals and conduct proper necropsies to figure out what’s killing them. These types of investigations, however, don’t always offer a clear answer. … [Read more...] about Dozens of Endangered Seals Are Washing Up Dead Around Alaska and Scientists Aren’t Sure Why
Why does that matter? An elevated metabolism increases body temperature—which, like a fever, shortens the duration of a disease and improves the chances of survival in most animals. Higher body temperatures are known to trigger a number of immune responses, including the increased production of antibodies. … [Read more...] about Why Are Bats So Good at Spreading Disease?
When discovered, this particular python measured 14.2 feet (4.32 meters) in length and weighed a whopping 106 pounds (48.3 kg). The subsequent autopsy revealed a massive amount of fecal matter within the snake’s large intestine, which itself measured 31.1 inches (79 cm) long and weighed 14.33 pounds (6.5 kg). An examination of undigested bone, teeth, and hooves within the poop showed this snake had gobbled up three white-tailed deer. … [Read more...] about What Scientists Found Inside This Burmese Python’s Stomach Will Blow Your Mind
Because it’s not just vaccines, not anymore. I ran into more and more people claiming they had the MTHFR mutation, an extremely common genetic variant that the anti-vaccine movement increasingly claims is to blame for any number of serious health issues. (The authors of a 2008 paper that first proposed a possible, tentative link between MTHFR and an adverse reaction to the smallpox vaccine wrote a piece earlier this year saying their work has been “misinterpreted and used to inappropriately justify exemption of children from medically indicated vaccines.”) The conference this year was also full of chatter and sales booths touting products to protect from the dangers of 5G cellular network technology. Within this framework, the presence of QAnon celebrities who spoke on a panel moderated by Candyce Estave, AutismOne’s director of online communications, was both bizarre and unsurprising. (QAnon is the rabidly pro-Trump conspiracy theory, that increasingly seeks … [Read more...] about Everything I Learned While Getting Kicked out of America’s Biggest Anti-Vaccine Conference
One boasts that it’s “Berks County’s premier party band,” another appears to be a cover band of middle-aged dudes in Florida, and still another is a Montreal-based funk band that has a song called “1 877 GET ON DOWN.” (Funky phone numbers apparently get extra digits.) Snowball II All Our Exes Live In Texas … [Read more...] about And, of course, Anal Trump: The year in band names 2017