Coronavirus Ponderings

It’s been quite awhile since I posted on the blog as I’ve done many more short posts on social media. This topic requires a bit more space so I thought I’d just fire up the blog and link to it    As I’m sure you are aware there has been an absolute sense of panic over this new strain of Coronavirus and as with all infections, caution is always warranted. The situation scientifically is still rather fluid as we gain more information and I think it will be for the rest of the year. Several questions remain unanswered , such as , Where did it originate ?. Was it a typical species jump from close human / avian / bat/ “ pangolin” contact ( most likely... contact that is ,not the pangolin)  or was it accidentally released from the lab in Wuhan .Note- labs in China have been cited for lower level employees selling lab animals to local “ wet markets” in the past to make some significant $$$ on the side. The lab in Wuhan is a BL4 lab tasked with working on novel viruses like SARS and

Hundreds of PTEROSUR eggs found in China

This is a fascinating discovery in China where about  250-300 Pterosaur eggs were recently found.

What exactly is happening to the worlds Cheetahs

 The world's cheetah population has dramatically fallen over the last several decades to where now there are estimated to only be approximately 7100 in the wild. The Cheetah population in Asia is all but gone, essentially leaving only those left in Africa. Here's a link to a recent report. The majority of these live in the grasslands of Namibia and South Africa. What seems to be happening is a loss of the overall habitat that the animals have hunted in as there is more development in these countries for farmland. This has caused the cheetah population to move into areas where there are more trees and brush as opposed to wide open plains. One thing that was noted by veterinarians visiting the area was that many of these cheetah are very thin and malnourished and when examined closer have ocular injuries in one or both eyes. This makes stereoscopic vision almost impossible and something that these fast hunters require in chasing down their prey. Several years ago a veterinaria

Beth's infamous Christmas Letter 2016

Another blessed year has flown by.  Against most odds all parents are still muddling along. Sarah, Murphy, and Polly live at home mostly, Mac is a junior at University of Florida and Dani is living and working at the beach. We are down to 3 cats, 4 dogs, 2 canaries, 5 chickens, a crayfish, a salamander, and a squirrel (temporary, just waiting for him to get old enough to release). We have had lots of fun and adventures on trips to Cumberland, a family cruise to the Caribbean, a hiking trip to Utah and Colorado, a big trip to Nicaragua including climbing several volcanoes(except not one of the ones that we were planning to because it blew 2 weeks before we got there and it was closed) volcano surfing (the only place in the world you can do it), getting our advanced diving certification at Little Corn Island, veterinary conferences to Denver and Gainesville, a vet school 30th reunion at Palm Island, Florida and several jaunts to St. Augustine to spend the night at a Bed and Breakfast an

Alan & Beth Hiking the Inca Trail Videos

Here are the links to some YouTube videos I posted from our trip to Peru. They were shot with a GoPro Silver 4 and edited down to about 20 minutes each. There are broken down by days on the trail and there is an extra one from out days in the Ica desert. Inca Trail Day 1 Inca Trail Day 2 Inca Trail Day 3 3 days in the desert with Penny Cabrera

Google University Graduates

For many years I like many other scientists have had to deal with the newly minted Google graduates. Don't get me wrong, the massive amounts of data that is available now at the touch of a button is nothing less that astounding. Google can be a powerful tool much like PubMed when searching for scientific articles but there is a drawback....just because someone publishes it (book,journal,lecture,blog post,twitter) doesnt make it true. We all still suffer somewhat with our early educational training in school where what we read and were told was known to be true. Now when you read something there is still that default position that "it must be true" as opposed to being a healthy skeptic and asking " can that be true". This leads me into the current internet/and public media battle over "The Food Babe" and her campaign against "Toxins".  Dont get me wrong here....I'm a firm believer that as a society we are eating the wrong stuff. We now co

Hendra Virus

There has been a serious viral problem in Australia since 1994 but now there is a new problem occurring. There is an anti-vaccination movement that is causing many many problems. Heres a link to a recent article forwarded from a friend in Oz about the problem. The virus is a flu like disease that can also cause neurologic signs and is highly fatal. It can be spread from horse to humans as well which makes this a serious public health concern for those in the Equine industry ...including Veterinarians. There is a vaccine available but it is expensive and many think that it is unnesessary and as a consequence are putting their horses ,themselves and their Veterinarian at risk. While Hendra isnt a problem in the US it highlights the "anti-vaxer" movements here as well. While we always needs to shine the bright light of scienti