Blood transfusions for cats and dogs

You learn something new every day. While I knew that dogs and cats can get blood transfusions, it turns out that it's quite difficult to determine the animal's blood type. What this means is that while a dog or cat can get a transfusion the first time it is needed, he or she cannot get another transfusion after that because the animal's body will reject it because of the first transfusion. And I thought veterinary knowledge had worked all these sorts of things!

Well, it seems that there is progress being made on a more reliable method to determine a dog or cat's blood type in Australia. A PhD student at the University of Melbourne has come up with the first step to tackling the problem. She was able to determine cat and dog blood types using artificial antibodies, which is a huge step. This also means no more using mice and rabbits to determine blood type. Her boss and coworker volunteered blood from their own dogs, Annie and Puddles. There is still a lot of work to be done to commercialize the method but it's a great first step to a big problem. Here is the press release from the university.

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Sorry about the light blogging

After getting back from my holidays in Canada, I thought I'd get right back into the blogging swing of things but have had a few distractions behind the scenes: one to do with Embrace (I can't tell you what it is but I think you'll like it); and the other an 8-day house closing.

We bought a house last Saturday (after looking at houses the previous Sunday only!) and now we're closing the deal next Wednesday. Talk about efficiency!!! However, it does mean a few million details that need to be sorted out this week.

I know, I know, pathetic excuses indeed (after all, what is it going to be like when we're up and running - I can't wait to find out). That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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First kittens for cloned wildcats

My mom was telling me that she and my dad saw a real wild cat in Scotland just after they were married. She says:

It was incredible.  It was in Arracha and we were walking to a place for dinner, and it was crossing the road.  Quite a sight!!

So, she noticed this interesting article on the BBC website about kittens born to cloned wild cats, which she pointed out to me.

While it might sound like a good idea to see if cloned endangered animals can breed to save the species, the article makes a good point that you need to fix the things that made the species endangered in the first place such as human encroachment on animal territories, disease affecting the animals or their prey, pollution, and so on. I think it's an interesting start to tackling conservation issues, which is bound to stir up a lot of discussion.

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