Animal

2024 @VisitJiangsu "Grading Sheet": Overseas Tourists in Jiangsu Doubled, Social Media Influence Boosted

Retrieved on: 
Saturday, July 20, 2024

As Jiangsu continues to enhance the accessibility & quality of its tourism services, the number of foreign tourists visiting major attractions in Jiangsu has witnessed an increase of 108.60% over the past year.

Key Points: 
  • As Jiangsu continues to enhance the accessibility & quality of its tourism services, the number of foreign tourists visiting major attractions in Jiangsu has witnessed an increase of 108.60% over the past year.
  • And @VisitJiangsu (the official account of Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism), the window to the charm of Jiangsu on major social media platforms, has a total of over 2.74 million followers now.
  • These short videos under 2 minutes have become the stepping stones for tens of thousands of overseas tourists to tours not only in Jiangsu but also around China.
  • Content that Makes People Laugh, Think and Say WOW
    How Jiangsu people celebrate during the Chinese New Year season?

Public advisory - Unauthorized drug products sold illegally on Quadragen and Advanced Research websites may pose serious health risks

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

Product: Unauthorized drugs sold on Quadragen and Advanced Research websites associated with the company Quad Inc.

Key Points: 
  • Product: Unauthorized drugs sold on Quadragen and Advanced Research websites associated with the company Quad Inc.
    Issue: Health products – Unauthorized product; Product safety
    What to do: Do not use these products.
  • In addition to the injectable peptide drugs that Health Canada previously warned about, the following drug products were also being illegally sold on the Advanced Research and Quadragen websites and may pose serious health risks:
    Bromantane and omberacetam oral drops promoted as "nootropics" on the company's websites.
  • Original Advisory – June 26, 2024: Unauthorized injectable drug products sold illegally on Quadragen and Advanced Research websites may pose serious health risks
    Health Canada is warning consumers not to buy unauthorized injectable drugs from Quadragen and Advanced Research websites ( www.quadragen.io/ , and www.advancedresearch.bio/) because they may pose serious health risks.
  • Health Canada seized injectable peptides, along with unauthorized bodybuilding drugs , from Quad Inc. At Health Canada's request, the company has stopped advertising and selling unauthorized health products, including taking down its Quadragen and Advanced Research websites.

Why does plague keep plaguing humans?

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

Before the 20th century, the most-deadly-disease mantle was held in Europe and surrounding areas by the bubonic plague.

Key Points: 
  • Before the 20th century, the most-deadly-disease mantle was held in Europe and surrounding areas by the bubonic plague.
  • However, from the 1960s onwards, cases dropped dramatically, and the bubonic plague is not often considered a modern disease.
  • The bubonic plague, or plague for short, is caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis.
  • These insects bite the rats and afterwards may jump and bite a human, injecting the plague bacterium into the lymphatic system of the human.
  • The main symptom of bubonic plague is swollen lymph nodes, usually in the neck, groin, thighs and armpits.

Under control

Fewer bees and other pollinating insects lead to shrinking crops

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

Niklas_Weidner/500px via Getty ImagesMany plants, from crops to carnations, cannot bear fruit or reproduce without bees, beetles, butterflies and other insects to pollinate them.

Key Points: 
  • Niklas_Weidner/500px via Getty Images

    Many plants, from crops to carnations, cannot bear fruit or reproduce without bees, beetles, butterflies and other insects to pollinate them.

  • Bees are the primary pollinators for a lot of plants, but flies, wasps, beetles and butterflies also play an important role.
  • Although birds, bats and other mammals also pollinate, insects are the main pollinators for the vast majority of those plants.
  • Have insect pollinator populations declined?

    Mallinger: Recent studies have shown pretty dramatic declines in insects generally, and this has been shown even in conservation lands.

The first published results from Juukan Gorge show 47,000 years of Aboriginal heritage was destroyed in mining blast

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

Working with the Traditional Owners, we had excavated the shelter – known as Juukan 2 – in 2014, six years before its destruction.

Key Points: 
  • Working with the Traditional Owners, we had excavated the shelter – known as Juukan 2 – in 2014, six years before its destruction.
  • The results of the excavation led to last-minute efforts to stop the destruction of the site, but they were unsuccessful.
  • The full results of the excavation are published for the first time today in Quaternary Science Reviews.

Where is Juukan and what happened there?

  • The Juukan 2 rockshelter is one of the caves that make up this system.
  • As widely reported in May 2020, the Juukan 2 rockshelter was destroyed during mine expansion activities.

What is so significant about Juukan?

  • It is extremely significant both for cultural and scientific reasons.
  • For the Puutu Kunti Kurrama, Juukan is a deeply spiritual place that contains deep-time evidence of their presence and association with the landscape in their Traditional Country.
  • In terms of the scientific significance of Juukan 2, the site is one of the oldest known locations of Aboriginal settlement of Australia.
  • We don’t know what this was used for, but the ochre may indicate a ritual function.

What now?

  • Over the past two years we have removed about 150 cubic metres of rubble that was once the roof and back wall of the cave.
  • Beneath the debris we found traces of organic material, and then remnants of the cave floor.

Stepping stones for wildlife: how linking up isolated habitats can help nature thrive in our cities

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

You’re a small, bright blue bird that tends to make short flights from shrub to shrub, staying safe in the foliage.

Key Points: 
  • You’re a small, bright blue bird that tends to make short flights from shrub to shrub, staying safe in the foliage.
  • Beyond your little patch of habitat, there don’t seem to be any places you can easily access.
  • The map of suitable habitat for city-dwelling wildlife often looks like a scattering of islands in an inhospitable sea of other land uses.
  • Our newly published research shows how native species in our cities can benefit if we focus on creating strategically located green spaces to connect isolated patches of habitat.

Why we should care for urban species

  • Despite the myriad challenges facing plants, animals and insects in urban areas, cities are important places to take care of our native species.
  • Urban areas still offer valuable nesting and feeding resources, especially for tree-dwelling mammals, canopy-feeding birds and water-adapted species.
  • Urban nature has been shown to be important in balancing out the stresses of city life, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

What did the study look at?

  • These are all species that occur locally but experience some degree of habitat fragmentation.
  • We have a lot of greening to do for climate adaptation and to create open space for new residents in our growing cities.

What were the findings?

  • Here’s an image of the kind of green spaces we modelled in this study.
  • We found significant benefits for two of our three species when green spaces were located in a way that specifically targeted habitat connections.
  • Linking up habitats when we create new green spaces is one way to give native species a chance in our cities.

Long COVID puzzle pieces are falling into place – the picture is unsettling

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

Long COVID is a term that describes the constellation of long-term health effects caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Key Points: 
  • Long COVID is a term that describes the constellation of long-term health effects caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • I am a physician scientist, and I have been deeply immersed in studying long COVID since the early days of the pandemic.
  • Over the first half of 2024, a flurry of reports and scientific papers on long COVID added clarity to this complex condition.

How long COVID affects the body

  • In 2020, when the ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2 was dominant and vaccines were not available, about 10.4% of adults who got COVID-19 developed long COVID.
  • In other words, unvaccinated people were more than twice as likely to develop long COVID.
  • While researchers like me do not yet have concrete numbers for the current rate in mid-2024 due to the time it takes for long COVID cases to be reflected in the data, the flow of new patients into long COVID clinics has been on par with 2022.
  • Estimates for the first year of the pandemic suggests that at least 65 million people globally have had long COVID.
  • It concludes that long COVID is a complex chronic condition that can result in more than 200 health effects across multiple body systems.

A long road ahead

  • Such findings parallel other research showing that the virus persists in various organ systems for months or years after COVID-19 infection.
  • Together, these studies may explain why a SARS-CoV-2 infection years ago could still cause new health problems long after the initial infection.
  • Important progress is also being made in understanding the pathways by which long COVID wreaks havoc on the body.

An ongoing threat

Cheeky diet soft drink getting you through the work day? Here’s what that may mean for your health

Retrieved on: 
Friday, July 19, 2024

Many people are drinking less sugary soft drink than in the past. This is a great win for public health, given the recognised risks of diets high in sugar-sweetened drinks. But over time, intake of diet soft drinks has grown. In fact, it’s so high that these products are now regularly detected in wastewater. So what does the research say about how your health is affected in the long term if you drink them often? What makes diet soft drinks sweet?Diet soft drinks are designed to taste similar to regular soft drinks but without the sugar.

Key Points: 


Many people are drinking less sugary soft drink than in the past. This is a great win for public health, given the recognised risks of diets high in sugar-sweetened drinks. But over time, intake of diet soft drinks has grown. In fact, it’s so high that these products are now regularly detected in wastewater. So what does the research say about how your health is affected in the long term if you drink them often?

What makes diet soft drinks sweet?

  • Diet soft drinks are designed to taste similar to regular soft drinks but without the sugar.
  • Instead of sugar, diet soft drinks contain artificial or natural sweeteners.
  • Diet soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to regular soft drinks, particularly for people who want to reduce their sugar intake or manage their weight.

What does the research say about aspartame?

  • The artificial sweeteners in soft drinks are considered safe for consumption by food authorities, including in the US and Australia.
  • People who drink diet soft drinks regularly and often are more likely to develop certain metabolic conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) than those who don’t drink diet soft drinks.

Will diet soft drinks help manage weight?

  • Despite the word “diet” in the name, diet soft drinks are not strongly linked with weight management.
  • In other words, artificial sweeteners may not directly help manage weight over the long term.
  • This resulted in the WHO advising artificial sweeteners should not be used to manage weight.

What about inflammation and dental issues?

  • High amounts of diet soft drinks have also been linked with liver disease, which is based on inflammation.
  • Many soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acid, which can damage your tooth enamel and contribute to dental erosion.

Moderation is key

HOUSTON PETSET AND THE BABINSKI FOUNDATION MOBILIZE RESCUE UNIT AND RESOURCES TO ASSIST THE ANIMALS OF HOUSTON DEVASTATED BY HURRICANE BERYL

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, July 18, 2024

HOUSTON, July 18, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston PetSet, a local nonprofit organization working to end Houston's homeless animal crisis, coordinated with The Babinski Foundation, a shelter and nonprofit located in Pequot Lakes, MN on the evening of Wednesday, July 17 to deliver much needed supplies to local animal shelters in desperate need of essentials. In addition, the foundation took 54 rescue dogs and puppies back with them to their shelter in MN to provide relief to rescue groups who are bearing the brunt of the animal homelessness crisis in Houston.

Key Points: 
  • In the aftermath of Beryl, area shelters are struggling to meet the needs of the thousands of additional pets under their care.
  • Rescue, Texas Animal Rescue Rehab, Tootsie Dog Rescue, Lola's Lucky Day, Harris County Pets, and Houston Humane Society.
  • "The shelters in Houston have been significantly impacted by Hurricane Beryl, due to increased demand and restricted resources," said Donna Sutton, Executive Director, The Babinski Foundation.
  • Houston PetSet and The Babinski Foundation have regularly partnered over the past several years to send Houston dogs up north to find adoptive homes.

Why the stinky durian really is the ‘king of all fruits’

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, July 18, 2024

There’s little else in the food world that brings about as much social turbulence as the durian.

Key Points: 
  • There’s little else in the food world that brings about as much social turbulence as the durian.
  • This so-called “king of all fruits” is considered a delicacy across its native Southeast Asia, where durian season is currently in full swing.

Loved and loathed in equal measure

  • This is mainly due to China, where demand has expanded 12-fold since 2017.
  • And although heavy rain and heatwaves have resulted in lower yields, the projected growth for 2024 looks promising.
  • In 2018, a load of durian delayed the departure of an Indonesian flight after travellers insisted the stinky cargo be removed.

Cultural and historical perspectives

  • For centuries, Indigenous peoples across the region have sustainably grown diverse species of the fruit.
  • At Borobudur, a ninth-century Buddhist temple in Java, Indonesia, relief panels depict durian as a symbol of abundance.
  • These trees are cherished, as they provide generations of family members with food, medicine and shelter.
  • Early Western illustrations of the fruit can be found in Dutch spy and cartographer Jan Huygen van Linschoten’s book Itinerario (1596).

A fruit of contradictions

  • Director Fruit Chan’s film Durian Durian (2000) homes in on these polarising tendencies.
  • While the fruit incites revulsion at first, it eventually becomes an object of affection among the family portrayed in the film.
  • In contrast, the Singaporean film Wet Season (2019) by Anthony Chen highlights various traditional views of the fruit.

The future and conservation

  • Unfortunately, the growing demand for this one type is causing harm by displacing native forests, flora and even Indigenous communities.
  • In Indonesian Borneo, or Kalimantan, oil palm plantations threaten durian diversity by leaving less room for diverse species of durian to be cultivated.
  • As such, effective conservation efforts must engage meaningfully with local people and species.