Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Welcome the World's First Test-Tube Puppies

The world's first puppies have been conceived using IVF — the same test-tube method that leads to the births of tens of thousands of human babies every year.

World's first litter of Test -tube Puppies

And they're ... just plain cute.

The idea is to be able to produce lab animals for medical tests. But the method can also be used to preserve endangered species, the team at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine said.

Why has it taken so long? It's because dogs are unique when it comes to making puppies.

"Dog reproduction is very, very different from that of other mammals," said Alexander Travis, an associate professor of reproductive biology who helped lead the work.

It's taken decades of work to figure out how to make a puppy in a test tube.

The world's first human test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978. Since then millions of children have been born after scientists united egg and sperm in lab dishes and implanted them into the wombs of women.

In-vitro fertilization or IVF has been used to breed cattle, monkeys, and even cats. But not dogs.

It's because their reproductive cycle is a little bit different. They only go into heat - produce eggs — twice a year, for one thing.

"When they ovulate an egg, it gets released at a very immature stage compared to other species," Travis added.

"So for example in human or mouse, when the egg is ovulated, it's pretty much ready to be fertilized. In the dog, it has to mature in the oviduct or Fallopian tube for several days."

And the eggs cells are dark and hard to see.

The Cornell team came up with a way to make it work using a bath that includes the chemical magnesium, and finding the right stage of egg cell to use, they report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

The result? Seven puppies.

Travis says the method can be used to breed endangered species.

"There's currently five species of dog that are threatened with extinction," he said. They include the red wolf, the African painted dog, and the Ethiopian wolf.

"So by doing this now in a domestic dog, what we're doing is creating a platform or starting place to now expand this technique to be used for all these other species of dog. It may not turn out to be exactly the same, but it gives us a really good starting point," Travis told NBC News.

Researchers also can use the method to correct genetic diseases that plague many breeds of dog.

"In-vitro fertilzation itself can't help prevent disease but what it does is it gives us a way to generate embryos and then we can use new technologies - gene editing technologies - to hopefully go in and fix uh certain genes that cause those diseases," Travis said.

"Dalmations are known for getting urinary stones; golden retrievers are susceptible to different types of cancer. Collies get certain eye defects."

And dogs are very prone to cancer. They're often used in labs to study human diseases.

"There are many, many diseases — over 350 diseases — that dogs have that are genetic in origin that are shared with people," Travis said.

What about the puppies?

"What's next for the puppies is a lot of house training," Travis said.

Source NBC

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Idiot Boasts She's Taped Dog's Mouth; Faces Jail

Unbelievably Cruel!

Maybe this will shut her up.

The woman who duct taped her dog's mouth shut and boasted about it on Facebook has been charged with animal cruelty by North Carolina cops.

The actions of Katharine Lemansky sparked outrage on social media after she posted the photo of the dog, named Brown, with the caption: “This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!”

Katharine Lemansky ducted taped her dog's mouth, and boasted about it on Facebook.

Lemansky was thought to have lived in South Daytona, Fla., under the name Katie Brown, as hundreds of residents flooded the police department with complaints about the photo after it was posted Friday.

It was found that she actually resides in Cary, N.C., under a different name. Cary cops worked with Florida authorities to track Lemansky down.

"Taping the dog’s muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Ms. Lemansky’s part, and charging her with animal cruelty under North Carolina law was the right thing to do,” Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne said in a statement Monday.

Cops did say that the chocolate lab mix appeared to be unharmed and all of Lemansky's dogs were "very well cared for."

"The dogs are current on their shots, spayed and microchipped," Police Captain Rhyne said. "They are clean and well-nourished and appear to be comfortable in their surroundings."

As a result, the dogs were not removed from the home, a decision that did not sit well with PETA.

The animal rights organization lobbied for the dogs to be removed from Lemansky's care on Tuesday in a letter to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

Lemansky was charged with animal cruelty.

The North Carolina resident did not lose her dogs, as they were found in good health.

"It would show a shocking lack of empathy for others' suffering to tape a dog's mouth shut and then brag about this cruelty on social media," PETA Senior Director Colleen O'Brien said in a statement.

"Any dogs in this woman's custody may be in danger, which is why PETA is calling for the immediate confiscation of any animals in her home as well as a ban on owning animals if she is convicted of this callous act."

Lemansky is facing a fine and 150 days in jail.