Aug 7, 2009 | 2
Thousands of turkeys in Minnesota have been quarantined after a strain of avian flu (H7N9) was found at a poultry farm there. Experts say that the strain is markedly less virulent than H5N1, the Asian strain that has caused more than 250 human deaths and millions of poultry deaths.
"It would appear that it's a pretty mild form of the avian influenza virus on this premise," Dave Lauer, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health's assistant director told Minnesota Public Radio. The station reports, however, that it's not unusual for more than a dozen cases of the low-pathogenic virus to be reported on commercial poultry farms in any given year.
Workers at the farm are, however, being monitored, as the strain has been known to cause some symptoms in humans, including minor respiratory problems and eye irritation. All turkeys within three miles of those infected will continued to be tested for the next six weeks, according to an Associated Press report. And if they are well after that, they may still go on to become dinner. An analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) last year found that the risk of people coming down with avian influenza from consuming poultry is slim, but cooking the meat to 165 degrees Fahrenheit is a sure way to kill the virus.
Jun 16, 2009 | 9
Venom has now joined violence on Iraq’s danger list.
As the country’s waterways run dry, snakes are moving into human territory, The Independent reported yesterday. Poisonous reptiles—including the saw-scaled viper, desert horned viper and desert cobra—are attacking humans and livestock in southern Iraq at an unprecedented rate.
Snakes that thrived in moist marshes in the country are now fleeing their parched habitats for nearby towns. Six people have been killed and 13 poisoned, along with the losses of countless cows. "I will leave the region if this continues," Jabbar Salleh, a farmer in the southern province of Nasiriyah, told the AFP earlier this month.
Nov 25, 2008
You might be wondering what science has to do with Thanksgiving. Its only complexity should involve family feuds and kitchen disasters, right? Have we got news for you: there are myths to be shattered about this most American of holidays, including the alleged soporific effects of turkey and the assumption that gratitude has nothing to do with good health.
Our in-depth report on the science of Thanksgiving tackles those and other questions you may be mulling as you prep Tom in your oven. Don’t you want to know what makes the meat on your plate white or dark? The reason is all in the family – the family of turkey genetics, that is. And can you eat turkey without becoming drowsy? We’ve got the answer.
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