Deadly new flu virus in US and Mexico may go pandemic
A novel flu virus has struck hundreds of people in Mexico, and at least 18 have died. The US has declared a public health emergency, and the World Health Organization is holding emergency meetings to decide whether to declare the possible onset of a flu pandemic. Ironically, after years of concern about H5N1 bird flu, the new flu causing concern is a pig virus, of a family known as H1N1. Flu viruses are named after the two main proteins on their surfaces, abbreviated H and N. They are also differentiated by what animal they usually infect.
On Wednesday, the CDC announced that routine surveillance had uncovered mild flu cases during late March and April, caused by a novel swine flu virus. Then on Friday the WHO in Geneva said in a statement there have been around 900 suspected cases of swine flu in Mexico City and two other regions of Mexico, with around 60 suspected deaths. On Saturday and Sunday, the CDC confirmed eight cases of swine flu had been confirmed at a girl’s school in New York, two cases in Kansas and a case in Ohio. Anne Schuchat, head of science and public health at the CDC, said that the US virus is an unusually mongrelised mix of genetic sequences from North American pigs, Eurasian pigs, birds and humans. The H protein on its surface, having hitherto circulated only in pigs, is one most human immune systems have never seen, the crucial requirement for a pandemic flu.
While suspect deaths in Mexico are being tested for H1N1, we don’t know how many mild cases of virus there may have been in the affected region that have gone untested. One ominous sign is that the Mexican cases are said to be mainly young adults, a hallmark of pandemic flu. Another H1N1 flu jumped from pigs to people in 1976, and killed an army recruit in New Jersey. The US went on high alert and vaccinated thousands of people – but the virus did not spread readily enough to maintain an epidemic, and fizzled out.
GMO Pigs Coming Soon with Help of USDA and Biotech
An unfunded cooperative agreement between the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and a currently unnamed corporation plans to address the ‘boar taint problem’ which causes a pig’s meat to smell of male reproductive organs by altering a pig’s genome. Yep – GMO pigs are in the making, all because the male pigs have an ‘offensive odor’ that can make their meat ill-fit for market. Biotech scientists are certain they can create a taint-free boar through a process that edits a pig’s genome rather than introducing any DNA foreign to the species, as has been the case with many GMO experiments like Bt corn or Round Up ready soy. In their usual style, biotech scientists try to minimize the possible ramifications of their projects. Yes, just altering DNA.
This could likely just be another vile campaign by the US government to alter human DNA. Take for example the government supported experiment conducted with the help of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations which infected human subjects with cancer cells, or the U.S. military’s research on biological weapons at Fort Detrick, MD since the 1940s. Here is a further timeline on government experiments that smack of altering a pig’s genome, only more insidious. The Modern Farmer article focuses mainly on natural ways to prevent taint, only covers the GMO aspect toward the end, and concludes that it wouldn’t accomplish anything that traditional breeding and care couldn’t.
If you really are finding an offensive smell in your male hogs, you might want to start looking at what you are feeding them & who is producing the feed. A non-smelly male may be construed as less attractive. The farmers already feed them GMO feed, so what’s the difference. Pigs are some of the most filthiest animals in the world. Perhaps to appease the pigs in GitMO, and their swine in arms around the world.
The Laboratory Rabbit, Guinea Pig, Hamster, and Other Rodents
This chapter provides a general introduction to basic husbandry for the laboratory guinea pig. General laboratory animal facility design and principles for rats, mice, and hamsters are applicable to the guinea pig. Modifications of these principles for guinea pig specific behavior and characteristics are noted. This chapter discusses the facility design, environment, and basic husbandry recommendations for the guinea pig. Although general laboratory animal facility design and principles for rats, mice, and hamsters have applicability to the guinea pig, characteristics and behavior unique to this species have fostered implementation of new and/or adjunct husbandry practices to improve the care and use of this laboratory animal.
In addition to the natural behavior and physiology of the species, the nature of the research activity performed considers planning, design, or modifications of guinea pig holding rooms. Quarantine facilities, breeding colonies, conventional and infectious disease research have different requirements for housing. The Guinea pigs are generally docile and seldom bite; however, they are easily frightened and will try to avoid capture or being held. This chapter further explains the housing condition required for guinea pigs, which includes the right ventilation, illumination, temperature, humidity, sanitation, noise conditions, and space requirements. Ventilation for laboratory animals should balance air quality, animal comfort, and energy efficiency to provide cage environments that will optimize animal welfare and research results.
The chapter reviews the nutritional diseases and record keeping of guinea pigs. For the identification of the animals, cage cards are used and the cards should include the strain of guinea pigs, sex, number, principal investigator, and research protocol identification.