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Monday links

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

Animal Science:

Bill Gates is working with geneticists to create the ‘perfect cow’ — Futurism
Tweaking genes could be one way of increasing the hardiness of livestock breeds. Bill Gates, Microsoft philanthropist, donated $40 million toward research efforts to breed a cow that can produce more milk and survive in hot climates.

Feeding the healthy senior horse — The Horse
There’s good news for owners of senior horses: Finding the “ideal” ration to keep the aging horse healthy doesn’t have to be rocket science. In fact, his ration might not even need to change just because he’s got a few more gray hairs. Still, owners should consider some key points when feeding their seniors.

Food Safety:

U.S. declares end to leafy green E. coli outbreak — Food Safety Magazine
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared an end to the E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens. The decision was made because no related illnesses have been reported since mid-December, leading health officials to conclude that the contaminated food in question must no longer be available for sale.

Authorities urge caution when hunting, eating wild mushrooms — Food Safety News
As seasonal rains promote the growth of wild mushrooms, experts are again reminding people that eating wild mushrooms can cause serious illness and even death. Unseasonably warm, wet weather in some places are also prompting mushroom growth where frozen ground and snow are the norm for this time of year.

Agriculture:

The promise and potential for new plant varieties — Agri-Pulse
More and more of the world has never experienced a famine or chronic food shortage, with many accustomed to finding food everywhere we look. So, when scientists talk about the need to improve productivity on the farm, the words sometimes fall on deaf ears to consumers. Why worry? Perhaps there is no need to panic, but there is cause for concern.

New ‘Buck’ naked barley: Food, feed brew — American Society of Agronomy
Researchers are giving an ancient grain a new life with a barley that is naked, but not in an indecent way. Most barley grains are covered with an outer layer called a “hull,” but the hull on the new “Buck” barley falls off during harvest. “Even barley geneticists try to have a sense of humor,” said one crop scientist.

Toxicology:

Is the U.S. Postal Service the new Silk Road? — Yahoo Lifestyle
An investigative report, released Thursday, from a Senate subcommittee shows that drug makers in China are funneling opioids such as fentanyl into the United States through the mail. The report also suggests that American government agencies are doing little to stop it.

Offbeat:

A pop band for the crypto craze — BBC News
Newcomers to the crypto craze often have trouble wrapping their heads around the concept of cryptocurrency — so a new Japanese pop group is here to help. Each member adopts the guise of a different cryptocurrency, wearing metallic wrestling-style masks as they dance and sing about virtual markets.

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