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Weekly News Roundup 2/5 to 2/11

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Walmart partners with Nationwide on pet prescription program

The nation’s largest retailer has joined forces with Nationwide to offer Nationwide Pet Rx Express. Members will have access to Walmart’s most commonly prescribed pet-specific medications for chronic disease as well as flea, tick, and heartworm prevention. Walmart has been expanding its pet business as the market for pet supplies and pet care continues to grow. In November, the retail giant launched Walmart Pet Care, a full-service offering on its website that provides a central station where customers can sign up for services such as pet insurance and dog walking, and find a wide range of pet products. . . . more

More mammals are being struck by aircraft each year

Investigators have published a global review of mammal strikes with aircraft, noting that events have been increasing by up to 68% annually. More mammals were struck during the landing phase of an aircraft’s rotation than any other phase. By analyzing published information and mammal-strike data from national aviation authorities in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK, and the US, researchers found that bats accounted for the greatest proportion of strikes in Australia; rabbits and dog-like carnivores in Canada, Germany, and the UK; and bats and deer in the United States. Over 30 years, the estimated cost of damage resulting from reported mammal strikes exceeded $103 million in the US alone. . . . more

FDA announces new resource for veterinarians interested in regenerative medicine

Veterinary regenerative medicine is a rapidly growing area of product development that offers great promise in the development of novel therapies for animals. These products, which include animal cell–based therapies such as stem cells, have the potential to repair diseased or damaged tissues in animals through regeneration and healing. On February 8, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a listing of clinical field studies that are investigating animal cells, tissues, and cell- and tissue-based products (ACTPs) in veterinary patients. The new FDA resource provides veterinarians, researchers, and the public with information on clinical field studies that are investigating the use of ACTPs in veterinary patients. . . . more

Cancer diagnosis might be incorrect for many English bulldogs

New research on illness in English bulldogs has discovered a previously unknown genetic health condition—and could save the lives of some beloved family pets. Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) were attempting to better understand B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a common cancer, when they uncovered a noncancerous syndrome called polyclonal B-cell lymphocytosis. This benign condition has many similar appearances to leukemia. “This could save some dogs from being misdiagnosed, treated for cancer, or even euthanized when they shouldn’t be,” said Anne Avery, PhD, professor of microbiology, immunology, and pathology at CSU. “The dogs may look to their veterinarians like they have leukemia, based on original diagnostics, but they don’t actually have cancer.” . . . more

World faces around 4,000 COVID-19 variants

The world faces around 4,000 variants of the virus that causes COVID-19, prompting a race to improve vaccines as British researchers begin to explore mixing doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca shots in a world first. Thousands of variants have been documented as the virus mutates—including the so-called British, South African, and Brazilian variants, which appear to spread more swiftly than others. British Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi said it was very unlikely that the current vaccines would be ineffective against the new variants. . . . more

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NEWStat Advancements & research Industry news Interesting & unusual COVID-19 updates