Weekly News Roundup 11/9–11/15


“I’m swiping right on the dog, not his owner”

Casey and Leigh Isaacson, sisters and cofounders of Dig—billed as the dog person’s dating app—have found a way to combine a need and a passion into one app. Dig connects people who own and love dogs to other people who either own or want to own a dog. Leigh Isaacson said, “The idea came when my sister, Casey, was dating someone who tried to be a dog person for her. [But] he didn’t want the dog in his apartment and wanted her to put towels on the couch. She said ‘I wish I knew from the start this wasn’t going to work because of my dog.’” They discovered that Casey’s experience was much more common than they realized, and that a very specific niche existed in the fiercely competitive world of online dating apps.

The list of diseases that dogs can detect just got longer

New research backs up the growing evidence of dogs’ ability to sniff out disease: A new UK study has shown that dogs can identify patients with malaria with 70% accuracy. The study offers more evidence that dogs could become another weapon in the fight against the disease, which, despite significant reductions in the number of cases in the last two decades, remains the biggest killer of children under five in Africa. There were 216 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2016, leading to an estimated 445,000 deaths overall. Dogs’ ability to detect a range of diseases such as cancer has been increasingly recognized, and scientists have only recently understood that patients with malaria parasites have a unique odor or chemical footprint.

Pennsylvania University has pet-friendly dorm

Starting in the spring of 2019, Lock Haven University (LHU) in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, will introduce a pilot program that allows students living in the school’s North Hall to have certain pets live with them in their dorm room. Those living in the dormitory will be allowed to “bring their long-term pet, defined by LHU to have been under the primary care of the resident or their family for at least three months, to reside in their North Hall room,” according to the new guidelines. Permissible pets include cats, dogs under 40 pounds (breed restrictions apply, although the university hasn’t yet said what constitutes a restricted breed), rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, and fish. Cats and dogs must be at least six months old and spayed or neutered. LHU says it believes that allowing students to have pets while living on campus will “make their college experience more enjoyable and more successful.”

New survey identifies naughtiest dog breeds

New research has revealed a list of the “naughtiest” dog breeds based on how often they bark: The more they bark, the naughtier they’re deemed to be. There’s also a list of the “nicest” dog breeds—those who  bark the least. The data was collated by Furbo, a company which makes a smartphone-connected camera that allows dog owners to keep tabs on their pets. According the data, Samoyed dogs top the naughty list: They barked the most—up 52 times every day—out of all the breeds that were tested. Second on the list is the Yorkshire terrier, who barked an average of 23 times a day. The nicest breed based on barks per day (BPD)? The Bernese mountain dog, with an average of only three BPD. Find out where your dog lands on the list here.

Archaeologists discover lots of cat mummies—don’t worry, they’re old

The more archaeologists continue to explore the tombs of ancient Egypt, the more evidence mounts that ancient Egyptians admired cats—which you probably knew—and loved to mummify them—which maybe you didn’t. Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced last week that a team of Egyptian archaeologists excavating a 4,500-year-old tomb near Cairo has found dozens of mummified cats. Also found in the tomb were 100 gilded wooden cat statues, as well as a bronze statue of Bastet, an Egyptian goddess with the body of a woman and the head of a cat, and who might literally be the world’s first cat lady.