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Today’s news from the animal kingdom: mice with two dads, panda breeding breakthrough and reptiles

December 10, 2010

Here are five fascinating articles that the humans (and animals) at Current Instincts are reading today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Mice have two daddies. Here’s a story that will totally blow your mind. Scientists have used stem cell technology to create mice from two fathers. Reproductive scientists in Texas manipulated cells from a male (XY) mouse fetus to produce an induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell line. Obviously. The breakthrough could help preserve endangered species and give homophobes everywhere strokes. (Discovery News)

2. Cat reunites with family 5 years after Katrina. Scrub the cat was reunited with his family five years after wandering off in the chaos following Hurricane Katrina. The cat, now 7, was brought to a shelter and the microchip that had been implanted in him led him back to his original family! If that doesn’t make you smile, nothing ever will. (MSNBC)

3. Fish feel pain too. You might want to use a less sharp hook the next time you go fishing. (Yes, I realize that makes no sense). In the new very straightforwardly named book “Do Fish Feel Pain?”, the author explains how fish “have the same kinds of specialized nerve fibers that mammals and birds use to detect noxious stimuli, tissue damage and pain.” So there’s one less thing you can eat. (Discovery News)

Gahdammit. I've died and gone to cute heaven again.

4. Giant panda breeding breakthrough. Conservationists in China say they have perfected reproducing pandas. Panda reproduction is especially tricky because everyone knows lady pandas are total prudes. Not really, but female pandas are only in heat for 72 hours a year, making it very difficult for scientists to get them knocked up. Scientists expect this breakthrough to allow them to reintroduce pandas to the wild in about 15 years. (BBC)

5. Rainforest demise spurred reptile evolution. 300 million years ago, rainforest ecosystems collapsed in North America, leading to the diversification of reptiles, eventually leading to the rise of the dinosaurs. This was later documented in the movie “The Land Before Time.”


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