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Weekly News Roundup 4/17 to 4/23

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Dogs could get extreme separation anxiety when quarantine ends, experts say

While some humans can’t wait until the end of work-from-home culture, canine experts say that lifting shelter-in-place restrictions could conversely cause “extreme separation anxiety” in the millions of dogs who’ve grown accustomed to their owners’ constant companionship during lockdown. “With such an overload of quality time with their families, dogs are building up a huge reservoir of overdependency,” said animal psychology expert Roger Mugford, PhD. And that could cause serious problems when people go back to work and kids go back to school. . . . more

We might never get a good coronavirus vaccine

Hopes for a return to normal life after the coronavirus hinge on the development of a vaccine. But there’s no guarantee, that a fully effective COVID-19 vaccine is possible, according to experts. That may seem counterintuitive. So many brutal viral diseases have been conquered by vaccination—smallpox, polio, mumps—that the technique seems all but infallible. But not all viral diseases are equally amenable to vaccination. “Some viruses are very easy to make a vaccine for, and some are very complicated,” says Adolfo García-Sastre, PhD, director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Unfortunately, it seems that COVID-19 is on the difficult end of the scale. . . . more

Study: Releasing herds of animals in the arctic could help fight climate change

Herds of horses, bison, and reindeer could play a significant part in saving the world from an acceleration in global heating. That is the conclusion of a recent study showing how grazing herbivores can slow down the pace of thawing permafrost in the Arctic. The study—a computerized simulation based on real-life, on-the-ground data—finds that with enough animals, 80% of all permafrost soils around the globe could be preserved through 2100. The research was inspired by an experiment in the town of Chersky, Siberia, by an eccentric scientist who resettled grazing animals to a piece of the Arctic tundra more than 20 years ago. . . . more

Purdue veterinary school to conduct COVID-19 testing for people

With limited testing capacity for the coronavirus within the state of Indiana, Purdue University is helping the Hoosier state to expand its testing resources in the battle against COVID-19. The university says the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine is working with Fort Wayne–based Parkview Health to start conducting COVID-19 tests for human patients. The lab recently received regulatory approval to conduct clinical laboratory testing on human diagnostics. . . . more

Deforestation in the Amazon threatens one-of-a-kind dog

The short-eared zorro is a rare canine—it lives only in parts of the Amazon river basin and it’s the only canid native to the region. And while it might be a member of the canine family, it’s not of the Canis genus. Instead, the short-eared zorro is a single unique species, Atelocynus microtis. Like so many other creatures who inhabit the region, its existence is under threat due to deforestation. . . . more