Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house. But in the mid-1980s, one beluga whale did something that had never been documented before: It imitated human speech.
A Vermont college's decision to slaughter two oxen after one suffered an injury has sparked some serious debate. The college cited sustainability as one of its reasons, but some students and animal rights advocates say it's just not right to serve Bill and Lou for dinner.
Could prebiotics, the food for the good bacteria known as probiotics, have more benefits than a dose of the microbes, particularly for people with serious health problems like preemies? A researcher working with pigs is trying to figure that out.
In his new book Spillover writer David Quammen traces the evolution of Ebola, HIV and other diseases that moved from animals to humans. Quammen describes how scientists look for the reservoirs of the infectious agents, and what might be done to prevent the next pandemic.
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