Category: Science

Starving Polar Bear Caught on Camera Brings Bleak Glimpse of a Warmer Future

Devastating footage of a starving polar bear is causing international alarm across social media channels. The sickening image demonstrates the urgent need to make changes and implement solutions to address climate change, in order to lessen the impact it will have on the Earth. Sea Legacy, a collective of filmmakers and photographers, are on a mission to create healthy and abundant oceans. This summer they sent an expedition to the Canadian Baffin Islands, where they encountered a polar bear. Unfortunately, this once majestic and powerful creature was gaunt and frail, close to death from hunger. Paul Nicklen, the researcher...

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Bravo! A Non-Animal Testing Lab has Just Opened Up in China

One province in China is taking steps to help animals by opening a lab that doesn’t test on them. The regulatory organization for food, drugs, and cosmetics produced in China’s Zhejiang province, the Zhejiang Institute for Food and Drug Control (ZJIFDC), worked with international non-profit the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), to create the lab, which opened in November, 2017. “IIVS helped train our staff and provided guidance on implementation as we developed the laboratory,” Yang Li, the vice director of ZJIFDC and head of the alternatives laboratory said in a statement.  “Their assistance, combined with our dedication to the development of a...

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Having a Dog Makes You Live Longer, New Study Finds

Humans have been benefiting from their special relationship with dogs ever since their domestication. Many of those benefits are intuitively clear – dogs offer protection, companionship, and encourage their human friends to exercise when they play or go for walks. Now, scientific research shows dogs may do even more for their human companions. According to a Swedish study of over 3.4 million people that spanned 12 years, having a dog may help you live longer by reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide. Living with a dog may reduce your risk of cardiovascular...

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Red Hot Chillies May Save Elephants from Being Killed by Humans

Throughout India and Africa, increasing conflict between humans and elephants has led to hundreds of deaths per year for both species. As elephants forage for food, villagers fight to defend their farms, resulting in brutal violence. Elephants have been under attack for decades from a range of human threats: poachers in the ivory trade, circuses, zoos, tourist entertainment industries, and the destruction of their forest habitats. Increasingly desperate for survival, elephants are forced to search for food outside the territory left to them. In Africa, elephants have even begun to adapt to a nocturnal lifestyle in order to avoid...

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3D Printed Human Skin Could Help End Animal Testing

3D printers are doing amazing things. They’re creating “mini body organs,” producing prosthetics, building houses and printing human skin. This groundbreaking technology, specifically in creating mini body organs and human skin, is making huge strides in the effort to abolish laboratory animal testing. Carolina Catarino, a Brazilian scientist whose trials utilize 3D printed skin to advance cruelty-free research, just won the 2017 Lush Prize awarded for innovations in the fight against animal testing. While earning a Biomedical Engineering degree, Catarino had an internship at L’Oreal in Paris, where she worked with lab grown skin. Traditional animal tests begin with a piece of...

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New 3D-Printed ‘Mini Organs’ Could Eliminate Cruel Animal Testing

For decades, scientists have used animal testing to prove whether or not a drug is safe for human consumption. But for Hans Clevers, a molecular geneticist, and a host of his colleagues, animal testing could be a practice of the past. Taking its place is the innovative technology of 3D mini organ testing. Mini organ testing involves creating itsy-bitsy replications of human organs, also known as 3D organoids, to use for drug testing and as an alternative way to study diseases. According to Clevers, “no one wanted to believe it.” In fact, it took more than half a decade...

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Huge Setback for Animal Rights as UK Government Fails to Recognize Animals as Sentient Beings

For decades now, the majority of scientists have agreed that all vertebrate animals, (mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles) are sentient. However, after an eight-hour-long parliamentary debate, British MPs have failed to recognise animals as sentient beings. Given the chance to vote on the NC30 clause that would have transported the EU’s recognition of animals as sentient beings into UK law, parliament voted against it. As a result, many animal rights advocates are concerned for the welfare of animals in post-Brexit Britain. As the Senior Vice President of the British Veterinary Association, Gudrun Ravetz worries that the against-vote “undermines the government’s precious...

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A Wearable Tech Miracle For the Legally Blind

Legally blind people can now see with the help of electronic glasses invented by eSight. The wearable technology behind the glasses is a high-definition, high-speed camera. Innovative algorithms sharpen the video and display it on screens directly in front of the user’s eyes. The glasses feature Bioptic Tilt which helps the glasses adjust automatically to the wearer’s movement, protecting them from nausea. This is a crucial leap forward from similar technologies which have tended to leave wearers feeling queasy and affected their balance. For Conrad Lewis, the founder of eSight, the project is close to the heart. Lewis grew up...

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