If some day you are tested for the H1N1 virus without the painful prick of a needle, thank a pig -- and a team of Kansas State University researchers and their collaborators who are connecting animal and human health. K-State professors Dick Hesse and Bob Rowland -- along with a research partner at Iowa State University -- are collaborating with Susan Wong, a scientist at the New York State Department of Health, on diagnostic and intervention tools for the H1N1 virus. While Wong is working on the human health side, the other scientists are focused on aspects of the research that will benefit animal health, including the health of swine in Kansas.
For the first time, Whitehead Institute researchers have shown definitively that mutations associated with prion diseases are sufficient to cause a transmissible neurodegenerative disease. The discovery is reported in the August 27 edition of the journal Neuron. Until now, two theories about the role mutations play in prion diseases have been at odds. According to one theory, mutations make carriers more susceptible to prions in the environment. Alternatively, mutations themselves might cause the disease and the spontaneous generation of transmissible prions. Prions cause several diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ( CJD ) in humans, bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE, or "mad cow disease") in cows, and scrapie in sheep.
The British Veterinary Association has launched two new guides for members on 'Euthanasia' and 'The role of the vet in treatment choice decision-making'. The guides provide both thought-provoking questions for vets to consider when assisting clients with treatment choice and practical guidance on making the right decisions on euthanasia for individual animals. The guides are the result of work by the BVA's Ethics and Welfare Group. 'The role of the vet in treatment choice decision-making' tackles issues such as: - the needs of the animal and the Five Freedoms; - assessing the quality of life of the animal; - ethical issues concerning the vets;
Porcine circovirus associated diseases cost pig producers around the world hundreds of millions of dollars each year. That's why Kansas State University virologists Dick Hesse and Bob Rowland have been working to create new vaccines to tackle such complex diseases. "Circovirus and its associated diseases continue to emerge around the world, " Hesse said. "Both porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome and circovirus are a worldwide problem and they continue to evolve." Hesse and Rowland say that because these viruses continue to adapt, the quick development of effective countermeasures like vaccines is critical, as is having the facilities in which to test the vaccine in a timely fashion.
The nation's largest veterinary association today released to Congress a scientific response that disputes several of the findings and recommendations made in a report released last year by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. In a letter sent with the AVMA's response to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), expressed concerns about the Pew Commission's report and urged members to vote against H.R. 1549 and S. 619, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA) as they are written. The Pew Commission's findings and recommendations are being used to advocate for PAMTA.
Following the decision by the Canadian Medical Association to support The Lung Association's campaign for pet-free flights, The Lung Association released the following statement: "The decision by the Canadian Medical Association to support pet-free flights is a win for all those Canadians who suffer from asthma, COPD, lung cancer or other respiratory diseases that could be made worse by exposure to animals. We applaud the CMA for joining us in this campaign and for demonstrating leadership on an issue important to thousands of Canadian air travellers and crew. Our question now is this: If Canada's largest medical association can join the campaign for pet-free flights, why won't federal Health Committee Chair Joy Smith do the same thing?