Monday links

Piggies_iStock_000017276333Medium_blogDon’t have time to scour the internet for the latest animal safety, food safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Agriculture

USDA analyzing effects of wild pigs on U.S. crops and livestock – Yahoo
The USDA recently said it has started analyzing for the first time data it has collected on the impact that wild pigs have on U.S. farmers’ crop and livestock operations. It is estimated by federal and state agricultural officials that there are more than 5 million wild pigs in at least 35 states.

Harvesting clues to GMO dilemmas from China’s soybean fields – Science Daily
China’s struggle — mirrored across the globe — to balance public concern over the safety of genetically modified crops with a swelling demand for affordable food crops has left a disconnect: In China’s case, shrinking fields of domestic soybean — by law non-GM — and massive imports of cheaper soybeans that are the very GM crop consumers profess to shun.

Food Safety

Don’t Forget the Epidemiology: Unraveling a Five-Year Listeria Outbreak – Food Safety News
It’s not every day that you see an outbreak of foodborne illness spanning five years. But that’s what happened with a Listeria outbreak first announced 10 days ago by the CDC. Just last month, it was whole-genome sequencing that connected together the 24 illnesses reaching back to 2010. But good old-fashioned epidemiology is what tracked down the source.

Do you Have a Plan to Keep Food Safe during Severe Weather? – USDA
Disaster can strike at any time and any place.  You might live in a region of the country that already has experienced some form of extreme weather event, such as wildfires, extreme cold and snow, or obstructive tornadoes. This infographic explains food safety during and after a power outage.

Animal Science

Researchers Look to Harness Pig Genomics to Select for Disease Resilience – The Pig Site
Researchers working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc are attempting to harness use of genomics to allow swine breeders to select breeding stock that will be more resilient to disease.

An IQ test for animals? – Science Magazine
Are some animals smarter than others? It’s hard to say, because you can’t sit a chimpanzee or a mouse down at a table for an IQ test. But a new study, in which scientists tested wild robins on a variety of skills, concludes that they do differ in the kind of “general intelligence” that IQ tests are supposed to measure.

Toxicology

The Scary Link Between Energy Drinks and Brain Damage — Yahoo
If you rely on energy drinks to rev you up, this may change your mind: Teens who down the heavily caffeinated drinks may be more prone to traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a new University of Toronto study.

Offbeat

Who Decides What Names Go on a Map? – National Geographic
For 125 years, a group you’ve never heard of has been helping create a common language for the world’s place names.

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