Weekly News Roundup 7/21 – 7/27


Researchers find biomarkers in extracellular vesicles in dogs

Researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found biomarkers in extracellular vesicles in dogs with myxomatous mitral valve disease and congestive heart failure. These findings could provide important insight into diagnosis and therapies for myxomatous mitral valve disease in dogs. The study was published in July 2017 in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.

Venture capitalists invest in pet startups

Last year, $156 million was invested in pet tech startups, and it looks like venture capitalists are hoping to continue hopping on the trend as Americans continue to spend more on their pets. Some recent startups that have received funding include Embark, a dog DNA testing startup; Pet Plate, Ollie, and the Farmer’s Dog which all deliver precooked meals for dogs; and The Ruff Club, a social club where owners work while their dogs play.

Dogs boost physical activity of older owners in winter months

Researchers from the University of East Anglia studied the activity of more than 3,000 adults and found that dog owners are more active especially when the weather was bad. On average, dog owners were sedentary for 30 minutes less per day and while all participants were less physically active on colder and wetter days, dog walkers were less impacted by the conditions.

When the CIA tried to use cats as spies

In the mid-1960s, the CIA attempted an experiment they dubbed “Acoustic Kitty.” The idea was to bug a head of state who was in an area with a lot of feral cats. By implanting transmitters on cats, the operation hoped to overhear his plans. However, cats turned out to make poor spies. Training sessions aimed at getting cats to sit near human conversations for long periods of time were unsuccessful and ultimately the plan had to be scrapped.

Photo credit: © iStock/carenas1

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