News of Note

i Oct 17th by

Army to stop animal nerve-agent tests
Bowing to pressure from animal rights groups and a congressman, the U.S. Army said it would phase out a program of testing nerve agents on animals.  At Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Md., the Army has been injecting monkeys with a nerve-blocking drug meant to create symptoms of a nerve gas attack to train Army personnel how to respond to a chemical attack on troops.

Ivies investigated for animal mistreatment
The report found that only Columbia University had a lower Research Misconduct Score than Dartmouth, and that Columbia and Dartmouth are the only two schools in the Ivy League to have no repeat violations of USDA regulations on animal testing. The study found that no Ivy League school had a “good track record” in respect to adherence to the Animal Welfare Act. According to the study, Dartmouth had 27 violations over the three-year period, three of which were considered “severe.”

Maryland Clean Bay Power project seeks animal waste-to-energy proposals
The state of Maryland is looking to buy electricity generated from animal waste.  Poultry litter or livestock manure are the types of waste the state is hoping will be used in the Clean Bay Power project. Those interested in providing animal-waste energy must be able to generate up to 10 megawatts, be directly connected to the regional electricity grid and start supplying power to the state by Dec. 31, 2015.

Vegetarian diet may help children stay fit, avoid obesity
With the poor quality of many of today’s conventional meat products, a vegetarian diet just might be an appropriate fit for some modern children, one of three that are now overweight in the US.  A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that people of all ages, including children, that adhere to a vegetarian diet generally have lower average body mass indexes (BMI) than others, and are generally leaner than their meat-eating counterparts.

Is That Cupcake Vegan or Just Butter- and Egg-Free?
Vegan bakers—who eschew milk, eggs, butter, and honey—took first-place honors twice on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” television series. A vegan bakery recently opened at Walt Disney World. Vegan bakeries have evolved into fast-growing businesses.  All this success ought to be giving vegan baking a good name.  The problem: Some vegan bakeries don’t flaunt their identity for fear of scaring off customers.

Zoned-out rats may give clue to consciousness
Human minds wander when they have nothing else to do. This is when people start to introspect, using a specific network of brain structures. The same network has now been identified in monkeys and rats, suggesting that “zoning out” might serve a key function in our survival. The findings raise questions over whether lower animals might also be capable of something akin to introspection.