Important mission: Science sets out to determine age of peak puppy cuteness

How would you like to be a researcher investigating the “optimal age” of puppy cuteness?

A group of lucky researchers got to embark on that task to publish a recent study that gauged the exact age at which dogs are most appealing to humans. The answer? According to the study, puppies are at their cutest […]

Beef, barbecue and burgers: Cooking safely

May is a big month: It’s Hamburger Month, Beef Month and Barbecue Month (and not to mention Chocolate Custard Month, Salsa Month and Egg Month).

With so many foods to celebrate this month, especially burgers and barbecue, we figure it’s a good time to recap some grilling safety facts:

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Can your alcoholic beverage kill germs in your body?

Maybe you’ve been in a situation like this before.

At a party, your friend chomps down on some cheese dip and crackers that have been sitting out for far too long. “It’ll be fine,” he says. “I’ll just have another beer; the alcohol will kill the bacteria.”

Or your sister with a bad cold offers […]

CDC apologizes for ruining muffins with tick awareness message

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made a social media splash recently with a tweet that went viral.

“Ticks can be the size of a poppy seed,” tweeted the agency, alongside two close-up photos of a poppy seed muffin. “Can you spot all five ticks in this photo?”

Suddenly, the muffin didn’t […]

Science: Dogs may improve kids’ bonds with family and friends

The bond between a kid and their dog could almost be called legendary at this point. Movies about these dynamic duos basically have their own genre. And while plenty of research has been done about how having pets affects childhood development, until now, nobody has really looked at how having a pet dog influences, or […]

National Puppy Day: 7 dog facts

Big eyes, little noses, fuzzy ears and wagging tails. For these reasons and more we love to celebrate National Puppy Day each year on March 23. With their seemingly boundless energy, and the way that energy can actually dissipate in a second and give way to gentle naps, puppies have captured our hearts probably since […]

As permafrost thaws, could ‘zombie pathogens’ make a comeback?

Photo courtesy the U.S. National Parks Service

Undead beings from an ancient era, frozen in time and released upon a modern society that has forgotten them — sounds like a horror movie premise, right?

Scientists have been discussing whether this scenario will become reality, but don’t worry about fighting off a hoard of zombies […]

Microbiology emojis to hit phones this year

The global nonprofit organization that coordinates emojis (yes, such a thing exists) is releasing over 150 new emojis this year, including common laboratory and microbiology-related icons.

The Unicode Consortium, which maintains the software and data standards that allow emojis to be consistent across devices, has included in its latest batch six symbols that will be […]

Deadly Aztec outbreak may have been Salmonella, study finds

With cities seemingly floating on water, stone temples and palaces, and warriors decked out in jaguar skins with obsidian blades, the Aztec Empire was the most powerful empire to ever exist in Central America. Now, researchers have found a possible factor contributing to the society’s downfall: Salmonella.

At its peak, the Aztec Empire was one […]

Monday links

What’s the latest in the fields of agriculture, food safety, animal science and toxicology? Check it out here.

Animal Science:

Japanese authorities battle bird flu outbreak — Poultry World Japanese authorities have culled 92,000 chickens following the discovery of the highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza strain in the west of the country.

Every pen, every […]