Monday links

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

Animal Science

West Nile Virus – The Horse
Today, West Nile virus (WNV) might seem like just another preventable disease and a shot your horse gets once or twice a year, but a little more than 15 years ago, this virus posed the biggest health threat the horse industry had seen in the 20th century.

Mouse gene helps create tuberculosis-resistant cattle – Drovers Cattle Network
Chinese scientists have created tuberculosis-resistant cattle using genes from mice. With the gene, the cattle are more difficult to infect with the disease and are protected from symptoms of tuberculosis.

Food Safety

USDA Releases Strategies to Reduce E. coli Levels at Beef Slaughterhouses – USDA
The Strategic Performance Working Group is recommending a multipronged approach to address pathogenic E. coli in beef slaughterhouses.

Harvard Study: Electrically Charged Water Can Fight Foodborne Pathogens – Food Safety News
“Nanosized” droplets of electrically charged water have been shown to inactivate pathogens on the surface of food and could one day become an environmentally friendly way to make food safer.

Agriculture

Spring Planting Preview: Early Planting Likely in Upper Midwest – AgWeb
Dry, warm weather from the Dakotas to Wisconsin favors early planting, but producers need to be careful not to repeat the same mistakes they did in 2012.

Shooting Down Wheat Viruses with Genetics – Agriculture.com
A team of biologists and geneticists is working on the equivalent of a natural flu shot to protect wheat from viral diseases that can eat into wheat yield potential. Though the advancements won’t be commercially available for some time, early results have shown high promise for ultimately yielding wheat varieties that are no longer susceptible to costly and common diseases.

Toxicology

Asia’s deadly secret: The scourge of the betel nut – BBC
It is used by almost a tenth of the world’s population. It gives people a buzz equivalent to six cups of coffee and is used variously as a symbol of love, marriage and a cure for indigestion and impotence. But it is also leading tens of thousands to an early grave.

Offbeat

20 Delicious Facts About Peeps – Mental Floss
You know whether you prefer chicks to bunnies, fresh to stale, or plain to chocolate-covered. But there’s a lot you may not know about Peeps, everyone’s favorite (non-chocolate) Easter candy.

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