Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kindness Ranch

It is often assumed that at the end of an experiment when the animal is not longer useful, painlessly killing the animals is pretty much the only option. However increasing numbers of researchers are finding ways to rehome or retire research animals. One example if the Kindness Ranch sanctuary for ex-research animals, currently housing dogs, cats, pigs and horses. For relatively short-lived animals such a within-lab retirement cage is also sometimes an option, allowing animals to be euthanised according to the original meaning of the word--when it is in their own best interests.

You can see some blog posts by visitors to the sanctuary here and (briefly) here.

The Dogs of Store

Some more fashion brand dogs:


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"A science background"

Sometimes I think the science professions don't get respect much as "real" scientists.

Case in point, Markus Chown was just talking on Radio New Zealand.  He has written an interesting-looking book called What a Wonderful World: One Man's Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff which attempts to explain important fundamental science in simple ways.  Which is great.

But in discussing how people develop their ideas in discussions, including with avergae members of the public, he said:"I write to my wife who is a nurse and doesn't have a any science background"

I really hope I heard that wrong, because do I really want to read a book by a man who thinks either:
1) Medicine is not predominantly a science, or
2) Nurses are not highly trained practicing medical professionals.

Human and Animal Health symposium coming up

Global Development Symposium: Critical Links between Human and Animal Health, May 4-7, 2014, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada. This symposium will bring together social, environmental, medical and veterinary scientists with policy makers, students and community members who have an interest in positive global development. Underscoring the "Critical Links between Human and Animal Health," the symposium will explore interdisciplinary approaches to improving public health and food security while empowering communities for lasting change. Abstracts for oral and poster presentations are being accepted through January 14, 2014.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Some sights at the Field Museum

If I had discovered a new dinosaur I would let people know.  At least put up a poster "we discovered a new dinosaur; Merry Christmas, buy some dinosaur-shaped cookie cutters".  But the Field Museum didn't feel like making a big deal out of it so I looked at some other things instead. It is an amazing collection. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Hopewell antler headdress (replica)
Man-eating lions, despite having no manes they are males

Extinct Irish elk
Fox-shaped vessel