Transplants: First Facial, Now Anorectal

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

“Defecation is a major activity of daily living.” Thus begins a new paper in the journal Scientific Reports, and truer words have rarely been written.

Most humans who are physically unable to drop a deuce, perhaps from cancer or an anatomical anomaly, must undergo a colostomy. In this medical procedure, the large intestine is diverted via a surgically created opening (called a stoma) to an external bag that collects feces, which must be emptied regularly. Many people who wear such devices suffer from psychological problems and a lower quality of life. An alternative — any alternative — is preferable. Continue reading

Why Domesticated Dogs Have Floppy Ears

OVER the course of several thousand years, mankind slowly transformed the wild canine into man’s best friend. Wolves would linger near early human settlements, supplementing their diets with food scraps and other waste. Some of these beasts were less afraid of humans, and over generations, this intrepid subset of mongrels built a mutually beneficial relationship with humans. Read the rest at The Economist.

How to Make Your Dog Jealous

This article was originally posted at RealClearScience.

My best friend from childhood had two beautiful dogs, a German shepherd named Sari and an Australian shepherd named Chloe. Living on a large pasture in the Midwestern countryside, the dogs were both mellow and incredibly well-behaved… that is, until my friend and I decided to mess with them. No, we didn’t engage in dog shaming (see photo above); instead, we did something much more ruthless. Continue reading

Dear Potheads, Stop Poisoning Your Pets

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Prior to the election last November, our assistant editor Ross Pomeroy reminded voters, before they pulled the lever to legalize marijuana, to consider the negative effects that pot has on animals. Many people did not listen to his advice. A recent article in USA Today reports that incidents of dogs suffering from marijuana toxicosis in Colorado are on the rise. Continue reading