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Canine Compulsive Disorder Gene Identified, Shares Family With Recently Targeted Gene For Autism

A canine chromosome 7 locus that confers a high risk of compulsive disorder susceptibility has been identified through a collaboration between the Behavior Service at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Program in Medical Genetics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The findings are published in the January 2010 edition of Molecular Psychiatry. Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by time consuming, repetitive behaviors and affects about 2 percent of humans, while the equally distressing canine equivalent, canine compulsive disorder, or CCD, seems to target certain dog breeds, especially Dobermans and Bull Terriers.

Independent Examines Diseases That Jump From Animals To Humans

The Independent examines the expansion of human diseases that originated in animals. "At least 45 diseases that have passed from animals to humans have been reported to U.N. agencies in the last two decades, with the number expected to escalate in the coming years, " the Independent writes. In the journal Bioscience, Montira Pongsiri, an environmental health scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, and colleagues say the world is undergoing an "epidemiological transition driven by the destruction of plant and animal habitats, the loss of species and changes that have brought more humans into closer contact with animals than at any stage in human history, " the newspaper reports.

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Cell Phone Waves Protected Mice Against Alzheimer's, Reversed Memory Damage

An international team of researchers studying the long term effects of electromagnetic waves like those emitted by cell phones on mice were surprised to find they protected their brains against Alzheimer's and even reversed the memory damage caused by the disease. The study was the work of neuroscientists, electrical engineers, and neurologists from universities in the US, Japan and China, and is being published online on 7 January in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. The study was led by University of South Florida (USF) researchers at Florida's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC), a statewide project sponsored by the National Institute on Aging.

VGX Animal Health's Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Shows Advantages Compared To Current Growth Hormone Therapies Used In Pigs

VGX Animal Health, Inc. announced that data demonstrating the effectiveness of its plasmid-based growth hormone releasing hormone (pGHRH) technology was recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Therapy in a paper entitled, "A Comparison of the Growth Responses Following Intramuscular GHRH Plasmid Administration Versus Daily Growth Hormone Injections in Young Pigs." This study was conducted by VGX Animal Health scientists in conjunction with the Children's Nutrition Research Center, a cooperative venture between Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service.

Vets Applaud Welsh Badger Cull - British Veterinary Association

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has strongly welcomed the announcement of a pilot badger cull and stricter cattle measures in Wales in the bid to tackle the spread of bovine tuberculosis. Commenting, Nicky Paull, Past President of the BVA, said: "The BVA has been very supportive of the Welsh Assembly Government's (WAG) commitment to tackling bovine tuberculosis and we are delighted that the pilot cull and stricter cattle measures have been announced. "We are pleased that the WAG recognises that the targeted cull must take place alongside stricter cattle measures as there is no single solution to tackling this devastating disease. Farmers will also have to understand the huge importance of implementing the stricter cattle measures.

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Tufts Researchers Discover New Neuron Development In Brains Of Nulliparous Mothers

Maternal behavior itself can trigger the development of new neurons in the maternal brain independent of whether the female was pregnant or has nursed, according to a study released by researchers at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. These findings performed in adult, virgin rats were published in Brain Research Bulletin and are available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.08.011. In the study, virgin, or nulliparous, rats were exposed to foster pups each day until they began to exhibit maternal behavior, including crouching over the young, grouping them, or retrieving them back to the nest.

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