Saturday News

To change things up from the boring redundant news….I try find stuff that will inform and even make you smile…..

I will begin with some pandemic news that will make you smile or cringe….

Will we begin using anal swabs for Covid testing?

Coronavirus testing is getting even more uncomfortable. At least that’s the case in China, where health authorities have begun using anal swabs to test for the virus, Gizmodo reports. According to a report by Chinese state media’s Global Times, “Studies have shown that the coronavirus survives longer in the anus or excrement than those taken from upper body tracts.” Not everyone agrees with the new testing method, the Washington Post notes, reporting that the move to use anal swabs instead of nasal or throat swabs has prompted “widespread discussion and some outrage.” A poll on Chinese social media platform Weibo found that 80% of respondents “could not accept” the method.

“Everyone involved will be so embarrassed,” one Weibo user said. Still, Li Tongzeng of Beijing’s You’an Hospital told state broadcaster CCTV that “Applying extra anal swabs can improve the detection rate of infection and reduce missed diagnosis” and they are only being used for people in virus hotspots under quarantine, Australia’s ABC reports. Not all doctors in China are on board, with one telling Global Times: “There have been cases concerning the coronavirus testing positive in a patient’s excrement, but no evidence has suggested it had been transmitted through one’s digestive system.”

Okay that is officially iky…..

More Bigfoot news…..an open season on the beastie…..

Unusually tall and hirsute people might want to stay out of the woods in Oklahoma in October. A state lawmaker has filed a bill directing the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Division to establish a Bigfoot hunting season, KFOR reports. Republican Rep. Justin Humphrey, who comes from a district in southeast Oklahoma known for Bigfoot sightings, wants the season to coincide with the annual Bigfoot festival in Honobia, reports Fox. “A lot of people don’t believe in Bigfoot, but a lot of people do,” Humphrey says. “Just like some people like to go deer hunting, while some don’t.”

Humphrey says providing Bigfoot hunting licenses will help attract tourists. “The overall goal is to get people to our area to enjoy the natural beauty and to have a great time, and if they find Bigfoot while they’re at it, well hey, that’s just an even bigger prize,” he says. Humphrey says the final version of the bill will state that people are encouraged to trap, not kill, the mythical creature, possibly with a $25,000 bounty. Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation spokesman Micah Holmes says the bill is real, but the department is unlikely to play along. “Here at the department, we use science to make management decisions, and we do not recognize Bigfoot as a wildlife species in Oklahoma,” Holmes says.

Leave it to a Republican to come with a worthless waste of time and energy.

I have many cat lovers here on IST and since I write a lot about our canine companions it is only fair that I pass on some news about those feline friends….

You may soon come to love catnip as much as your cat. New research suggests the chemicals derived from catnip and silver vine, an even more potent plant that grows in the mountains of Japan and China, can ward off pesky mosquitoes. Masao Miyazaki, a biologist at Japan’s Iwate University, spent five years examining catnip and silver vine, eventually unearthing a silver vine chemical called nepetalactol, which is similar to but more potent than nepetalactone, the key compound in catnip. When paper pouches full of nepetalactol were put in cages with 25 domestic cats, 30 feral cats, and a five big cats housed at zoos, most felines went nuts for the stuff, rubbing against it for 10 minutes on average, while ignoring an unlaced pouch, per Science. This resulted in elevated levels of beta-endorphins, also known as the “happiness hormone,” researchers say.

But they were interested to know whether there was more to the feline obsession than pleasure. And the findings suggest that “rolling [in nepetalactol] is rather a functional behavior,” says Miyazaki, whose study appears in Science Advances. Working off previous research showing nepetalactone could be as effective a mosquito repellant as DEET, per the New York Times, Miyazaki’s team applied nepetalactol and a neutral substance to cats, then exposed them to hungry mosquitos, finding half as many insects landed on the cats treated with nepetalactol. Researchers therefore suggest cats “use plant metabolites for protection against insect pests.” While it doesn’t necessarily explain why cats love plants like catnip, this potential benefit might apply to us. Per Science, the team has already patented an insect repellent based on the research.

My little info post.

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