CRISPR halted muscular dystrophy in dogs. Are humans next?

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ABOUT TEN YEARS ago, British veterinarians discovered an unlucky family of King Charles Spaniels whose male pups sometimes came down with a mysterious set of maladies before their first birthday. They grew clumsy and weak, and they often choked on their own tongues. To blame was a mutation on their X chromosomes, in a gene that codes for a shock-absorbing muscle protein called dystrophin. When researchers at the Royal Veterinary College realized the puppers had a canine version of the most common fatal genetic disease in children—Duchenne muscular dystrophy—they began breeding the sick spaniels with beagles to start a canine colony in the hopes of one day finding a cure.

Today, scientists report they’ve halted the progression of the disease in some of those doggy descendants using the gene editing tool known as Crispr.

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Who’s a good AI? Dog-based data creates a canine machine learning system

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We’ve trained machine learning systems to identify objects, navigate streets and recognize facial expressions, but as difficult as they may be, they don’t even touch the level of sophistication required to simulate, for example, a dog. Well, this project aims to do just that — in a very limited way, of course. By observing the behavior of A Very Good Girl, this AI learned the rudiments of how to act like a dog.

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Where cats are more popular than dogs around the world

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There are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. Data from Euromonitor, a market research firm, suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too. (Video)

 

 

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Growing trend among young singles who treat pets like girlfriends and boyfriends

Lucy, a 1 year old Burmese Mountain dog and her owner Alfred Pretrone.

There’s “something special” about Lucy, says Alfred Pretrone about his female companion. She’s good-looking, “chill” and she makes the stress melt away at the end of a long day. But Lucy isn’t Mr. Petrone’s girlfriend. She’s his dog.

 

 

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Why pet owners are skipping the pet food aisle in favor of homemade pet food

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Veterinarians say these pet food home chefs do it for different reasons.

We not only obsess over what we eat. We also obsess over what our pets eat. While the pet food industry has started adding salmon, vegetables and other ingredients humans favor to its products, the store-bought stuff just doesn’t make the cut anymore for some owners. They’re skipping the pet food aisle altogether in favor of cooking up big batches of Fido’s meals.

 

 

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Drones can be used to walk your dog

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Drone walking a dog.

Researchers are always developing and thinking of new ways that drones or unmanned aerial vehicles can be used. They are being used and studied in various industries and sectors including the military, agriculture, retail, delivery services, and even the arts. In the not so distant future, drones may even be used to take pets out for a walk in the park. (video)

 

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Dogs can sniff the scent of prostate cancer with 98% accuracy

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Dogs’ noses have four times the number of olfactory cells as humans.

Dogs noses are powerful and it has been well documented what they are able to sniff out. Researchers have discovered that our canine companions’ snouts may be more accurate than advanced laboratory procedures when it comes to detecting certain forms of cancer.

 

 

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How the internet of everything can make a difference to your pets

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Petnet SmartFeeder

The Internet of everything is all the rage now. New solutions continually pop up in a bid for more control over your home. Petnet, a smart pet-device maker based in Los Angeles, intends for its connected devices to make a difference to your dogs and cats.

 

 

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A dog collar that tracks when something is wrong with their humans

Changes in a dog’s behavior could clue us into problems in their owners’ lives.

Lassie’s barking may have saved many humans from a barn or forest fire, but Newcastle University researchers in England say that even more subtle changes in a dog’s behavior could clue us into problems in their owners’ lives–especially if those owners are older, isolated, and might eschew Fitbits and other wearable tracking devices themselves.

 

 

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Sweaters made from your pet’s fur!

Do you love your cat or dog so much you would immortalize him or her into a soft cuddly sweater?  A professional cat groomer, Danelle German, based in Simpsonville, S.C. had large amounts of fur she would dispose of from her grooming clients’ Persians and Angoras.  She started to spin that fur into yarn.  From that yarn you can knit that yarn into warm, cute little sweaters, mittens, hats, or whatever you would like. (Pics)

 

 

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