An oily, 100-nanometer-wide bubble of genes has killed more than two million people and reshaped the world. Scientists don’t quite know what to make of it.
An oily, 100-nanometer-wide bubble of genes has killed more than two million people and reshaped the world. Scientists don’t quite know what to make of it.
It’s astonishing how relentlessly Western philosophy has strained to prove we are not squirrels.
With new puppies and kids at home, doctors are worried about treating more children for dog bites.
Since July, four attacks on Bay Area residents have involved the same coyote, according to DNA taken from the victims’ bite wounds and clothing.
Her birth represents the first cloning of an endangered species native to North America, and may bring needed genetic diversity to the species.
Researchers calculated the likelihood of different viruses recombining in the same animal to make new disease-causing pathogens.
An interview with Peter Daszak, an animal disease specialist, just after his return from an investigative research mission to Wuhan, the site of the original Covid outbreak, and surrounding areas.
The magazine’s Ethicist columnist on choosing a humane end for a pet and what to do with P.P.P. loan money you turned out not to need.
A new review of the scientific literature confirms that anthropogenic noise is becoming unbearable for undersea life.
Jimmy Wayne Hammonds, who runs an exotic animal ranch, illegally sold rare monkeys, prosecutors said.
Every year, around 10 million pets go missing in the U.S., and millions of those end up in shelters where they aren’t always reunited with their owners, due to their lack of identification or a microchip. A new mobile app, Shadow, aims to tackle this problem by leveraging a combination of a volunteer network and A.I. technology to help dog owners, in particular.
The startup is working in partnership with animal shelters and rescue organizations around the U.S. to pull in photos of the dogs they’re currently housing, then supplements this with photos pulled from social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook.
It then uses A.I. technology to match the photograph of the missing dogs to possible matches from nearby shelters or the web.
If there’s not a match found, Shadow will then programmatically set a search radius based on where and when the dog went missing, and suggest other actions that the dog’s owner can take as the next steps.
This includes viewing all the photographs from the shelters directly, in the case that the technology matching process missed a possible match, as well as working with other Shadow users to help crowdsource activities like hanging “Lost Dog” flyers around a neighborhood, for example, among other things.
The app also relies on a network of volunteers who help by also reviewing shelter photographs and broadcasting missing posters to social media sites they use to increase the chances of the dog being found. Dog owners can even advertise a reward in the app to encourage people to help search.
Today, Shadow has grown its volunteer user base to over 30,000. And it’s partnered with the ASPCA, Animal Care Centers of New York and L.A., the Dallas shelter system, and others.
While Shadow is free to use, it makes money through a virtual tipping mechanism when it makes a successful match and the dog is found. It also offers users the ability to buy an Instagram ad in-app for $10. Here, Shadow provides the visual assets and manages the ad-buying process and placement process on owners’ behalf.
The startup, founded by former Zocdoc founder Cyrus Massoumi, has been in a sort of public stealth mode for a few years as it grew beyond its hometown of New York. It’s now offering dog-finding services in 76 counties across 20 U.S. states.
We should note that Massoumi’s exit from Zocdoc was complicated. He sued his co-founders and CFO for orchestrating a plot to oust him from the company during a Nov. 2015 board meeting, claiming fraud. The lawsuit detailed the internal strife inside Zocdoc at the time. A New York Supreme Court judge recently determined this lawsuit, which is ongoing, needs to be filed in Delaware, instead of New York. So a ruling is yet to be determined.
Ahead of this, Zocdoc had been accused by Business Insider of having developed a stressful, “bro culture,” in which young, male employees would make inappropriate remarks about the women who worked there. This was ahead of the larger rise of the Me Too movement, which has since impacted how businesses address these issues in the workplace.
Massoumi disputes the claims were exactly as described by the article. The company had 300 salespeople at the time, and while he agrees some people may have acted inappropriately, he also believes company’s response to those actions was handled properly.
“The allegations were fully investigated at Zocdoc and found to be without merit,” he told TechCrunch, adding that Zocdoc was repeatedly recognized as a “best place to work” while he was CEO. (There were never allegations against Massoumi, but ultimately, the buck stops with the CEO.)
Shadow today claims a different makeup. It has a team twelve people, and two-thirds of its product and engineering team are women. Some Zocdoc investors have also returned to back Massoumi again.
The startup is funded by Founders Fund, Humbition (Massoumi and Indiegogo founder Slava Rubin’s fund), Lux Capital, firstminute Capital, and other angels, including a prior Zocdoc
Despite the complicated Zocdoc history, the work Shadow is doing is solving a problem many people do care about. Millions of pet owners lose their pets to euthanization as they end up at shelters that cannot keep animals indefinitely due to lack of space. Meanwhile, the current system of having lost pet messages distributed across social media can mean many of those posts aren’t seen — especially in larger metros where there are numerous “lost pet” groups.
As Shadow began its work in 2018, it was local to the New York area. Its first year, it reunited 600 dogs. The next year, it reunited 2,000 dogs. The third year, it reunited 5,000 dogs. Today, it’s nearing 10,000 dogs reunited with owners.
More than half of those were since the pandemic began, which saw many new pet owners and increased time spent outdoors with those pets, when dogs can sometimes get loose.
Massoumi says he was inspired to found Shadow after a friend lost his own dog, the namesake Shadow. It took the friend over a month to find the dog after both following false leads and being connected with people who tried to help him.
“I’m thinking to myself, this is something that happens 100 million times a year, globally…and for people who love pets, this is a lost family member,” Massoumi explains. “It seemed to me to be a similar problem that I’d already been solving in healthcare, where there’s fragmentation — people want to see the doctor and the doctor wants to see the patient, but there’s just not a central way to make it work,” he says.
More broadly, he wants to see technology being put to good use to solve problems that people actually care about.
“I think there needs to be more technology that injects the humanity back in what everyone does. I think that it’s very core that’s what we’re doing,” he says.
Shadow’s app is a free download on iOS and Android.
Gorongosa National Park, steadily recovering from the ravages of civil war, recently added to its list of resident predators.
What will we lose when Najin and Fatu die?
The small apes were once widespread across much of Asia. But rampant deforestation and ruthless hunting of the acrobatic animal has greatly reduced its numbers and its habitat.
This astonishing documentary offers an intimate look at the lives of a sow, her rambunctious piglets, a one-legged chicken and a herd of cows.
Researchers in China spent a decade studying this question.
Emotional support animals are considered pets instead of service animals under the new rules, which go into effect next month.
She rewrote the global Red List, which describes which species are in trouble, and warned that the world must restore its ecological balance or pay a steep price.
The long tradition of presidential pets is set to resume this January with two German shepherds belonging to President-elect Joe Biden. Their predecessors weren’t always cats and dogs.
Climate change is shifting the habitats of endangered species and requiring conservation scientists to think outside traditional park boundaries.
The euthanizing of a boar and her six piglets on a playground near the Vatican has aroused fury in Rome, a city that has long complained about the often aggressive animals.
The bones are among the hardest to replace in the body. A trial of the new technique in humans is about to begin.
Legislation to ban mink farming cracked the governing coalition, forcing the country’s most powerful politician to assume formal office and exposing a struggle for control of Polish conservatism.
Research shows that watching footage of them can make you happier, so here’s a list of round-the-clock camera footage that will bring koalas, penguins and puppies straight to your screen.
What do you do when your world is burning? In mundane and harrowing ways, you figure out how to survive.
Two men pleaded guilty to tampering to influence a contest, a third-degree felony, almost two years after the state started investigating where they caught their fish.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has learned how to raise the deepest sea life to the surface and keep it alive for display.
Covid-19 may be the tipping point when it comes to crocodile, python, ostrich, and clothes.
The children’s series is 100 years old this year. Its author, Hugh Lofting, was flawed — the original books contained racist ideas. Yet his animals continue to delight.
The star of this short documentary calls himself ‘Catman.’
Bringing back the top predator to Argentina’s wetlands could restore the health of an entire ecosystem. But inducing five felines with troubled pasts to hunt, and mate, is not easy.
So many people have been chasing the 50 stragglers that the animals got spooked and split off into singles and pairs, complicating efforts to catch them, a sheriff said.
The pandemic coronavirus has made its way onto two mink farms in Utah, leading to “unusually large numbers” of dead animals, according to a Tuesday announcement by the US Department of Agriculture.
These are the first reported cases of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, infecting mink in the country. For months, authorities in European countries, including the Netherlands, Denmark, and Spain, have reported outbreaks in mink pelt farms, leading to the culling of more than a million of the soft, furry mammals. From laboratory experiments, it’s also clear that ferrets, a relative of minks, are also readily infected with the novel coronavirus.
The affected farms in Utah reported cases of COVID-19 in people working on the farms, who may have spread the infection to the animals.
Cattle herds in the Okavango delta region in Botswana are plagued by attacks by lions and other predators, prompting farmers to retaliate by killing the predators. An alternative nonlethal technique involves painting eyes on the butts of cattle to trick ambush predators like lions into thinking they’ve been spotted by their intended prey. It’s called the “Eye-Cow Project,” and a recent paper published in the journal Communications Biology provides some solid empirical evidence for the practice. There are now practical guides for using the “eye-cow” technique available in both English and Setswana, so farmers can try it out for themselves.
Neil Jordan, a conservation biologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, came up with the idea several years ago while he was doing field work in Botswana. Local farmers killed a pair of lionesses in retaliation for preying on their herds of cattle, and Jordan wanted to come up with a non-lethal alternative. The African lion population has dropped significantly from more than 100,000 in the 1990s to somewhere between 23,000 and 39,000 in 2016—much of it due to retaliation killings.
Jordan knew that butterfly wings sporting eye-like patterns are known to ward off preying birds, and are also found in certain fish, mollusks, amphibians and birds, although such patterns had not been observed in mammals. He also discovered that woodcutters in Indian forests have been known to wear masks on the backs of their heads to discourage any tigers hunting for prey. He had observed a lion stalking an impala, and noticed the predator gave up the chase when the prey spotted it. Lions are ambush hunters, Jordan reasoned, and decided to test his “detection hypothesis” that painting eyes on the butts of cows would discourage predatory behavior from the local lion population.
Five animals on two farms test positive, but many more are believed to be affected.
By studying the numerous ways animals keep their eyes wet and healthy, scientists hope to help address human vision problems.
After decades in captivity and a 1,700-mile road trip from Argentina into Brazil, an Asian elephant named Mara finally gained a chance to roam.
Sitting may confuse cellular sensors into thinking we are lighter than we are, prompting the body to put on weight.
The animal world is full of games. And tucked in among wrestling monkeys, belligerent birds and wily coyotes are lessons for us all.
In the darkest depths of the ocean, where little to no light from the surface penetrates, an unusual array of creatures thrives, many of which create their own light via bioluminescence to hunt for prey, among other uses. But there are also several species of fish that have evolved the opposite survival strategy: they are ultra-black, absorbing nearly all light that strikes their skin, according to a new paper in Current Biology.
Karen Osborn of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History became intrigued by the creatures upon finding she was unable to capture these ultrablack fish on camera while working in the field, trying to photograph specimens caught in the team’s deep-sea trawl nets. “Two specimens, the Anoplogaster cornuta and the Idiacanthus antrostomus, were the only two fish over the course of six years of field work that I was able to get decent photographs of,” Osborn told Ars.
To do so, she used a Canon Mark II DSL R body and 65 mm macro lens with four strobes, then tested various lighting setups by taking lots and lots of photographs. Finally, she adjusted contrast and applied a high pass filter uniformly across the images, the better to bring out the details. It still wasn’t sufficient to capture most of the specimens caught in the trawl net. “Over the years I deleted thousands of failed shots of other fish as useless because I couldn’t bring out the details in the photos,” she added. “It didn’t matter how you set up the camera or lighting—they just sucked up all the light. I wish I had a few of them now to illustrate this.”
Researchers have found fish that absorb more than 99.9 percent of the light that hits their skin.
Exercise prompts the liver to pump out a little-known protein that appears to rejuvenates the brain, a new study found.
When it comes to finding a vaccine for chlamydia, the world’s most popular sexually transmitted infection, koalas may prove a key ally.
Unlike vertebrate embryo cells, which signal to each other over long distances, sea squirt embryo cells talk only to those they’re closest to.
After a concerted reintroduction effort two decades ago, the state is now home to the largest population of elk east of the Mississippi. The animals’ home: reclaimed coal mines.
A fast-growing network of activists sees the pandemic as an opportunity to push legislation that bans the consumption of dog and cat meats.
The pandemic’s human toll in New York has been well documented. But what about the dogs and cats of those who become seriously ill?
Rescued from Australia’s fires, a small fleet of wild platypuses is launched back into their wetland home and into an uncertain future.
Using tiny sensors and equipment aboard the space station, a project called ICARUS seeks to revolutionize animal tracking.
The government has moved slowly to permanently stop the sale and consumption of wild animals in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, raising fears the practice may continue.