Monday links

Don’t have time to scour the internet for the latest animal science, food safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Animal Science:

Gene editing has potential for future poultry breeding — Poultry World
Genetic modification of animals has been around for decades, but genome editors are a new tool that allow small changes — replacing one amino acid or a short sequence — to be made to the DNA. Work has already been done on a unique featherless chicken and the Scots Dumpy, a rare breed native to Scotland.

Pigs feel neuropathic pain due to tail docking — Pig Progress
Tail docking causes neuropathic pain-like sensations in piglets, according to recent research from the United Kingdom and Denmark. The researchers started to investigate pain induced by tail docking as it is a standing practice in many countries to avoid tail biting in pigs.

Food Safety:

Parents: What the latest Salmonella outbreaks with chickens mean to you — Unsafe Foods
Almost all states in the U.S. have one or more illness outbreaks currently underway. What could have caused such a massive scattering of infections? Many of the outbreaks have been linked to live poultry — in particular, backyard flocks.

CDC joins E. coli investigation along Utah-Arizona border — Food Safety News
The source of a troubling E. coli O157:H7 outbreak on the Utah-Arizona border in the U.S. has still not been identified. Eleven confirmed cases are included in the outbreak, with most being children. Four children have lost their lives, and seven cases required hospitalization.

Agriculture:

Genetically Engineered Yeast Soak Up Heavy Metal Pollution — American Council on Science and Health
Environmental contamination with heavy metals is often the result of industrial processes. Because heavy metals can be dangerous to humans and other wildlife, contaminated sites need to be cleaned up. Scientists have created genetically engineered microbes capable of gobbling up pollution. The latest example of this involves genetically engineered yeast.

UNH Researchers Extend N.H. Growing Season for Strawberries — University of New Hampshire
Researchers have succeeded in quadrupling the length of New Hampshire’s strawberry growing season as part of a multi-year research project that aims to benefit both growers and consumers. The season traditionally lasts four to six weeks, however, researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks last year.

Toxicology:

Opioid prescriptions dropped for the first time in the modern drug crisis — Washington Post
The number of prescriptions for opioids written by health-care providers declined between 2012 and 2015, the U.S. government recently reported, introducing a glimmer of progress in efforts to quell the worst drug epidemic in U.S. history.

Offbeat:

Creating music by thought alone — Science Daily
Neurologists have created a hands-free, thought-controlled musical instrument called the encephalophone that they hope will empower patients with motor disabilities. The instrument collects brain signals through a cap that transforms certain signals into musical notes. Coupled with a synthesizer, a user can create music without moving an inch.

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