“Frog Once Used in Pregnancy Tests Spread Deadly Fungus”
A species of frog that was used from the 1930s to the 1950s in human pregnancy tests is a carrier of a deadly amphibian disease that is now threatening hundreds of other species of frogs and salamanders.
… The pathogen the frogs are spreading is a fungus called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd. It has led to the recent decline or extinction of 200 frog species worldwide, the researchers report. Researchers in 2004 found Bd in a museum specimen of an African clawed frog that dated to 1934. But the frog itself appears to be unaffected by the fungus.
“Evolution has run its course,” Dr. Vredenburg said. “The species probably at some point suffered, but the survivors have figured out ways to survive.”
For other species, the pathogen is “the worst disease in vertebrate history,” Dr. Vredenburg said. The disease infects the skin of frogs and salamanders and causes it to thicken 40 times greater than normal, Dr. Vredenburg said. Within a couple of weeks, the disease causes an electrolyte imbalance and the amphibians die of heart attacks, he said.
…Thousands of African clawed frogs were shipped from South Africa to labs and hospitals around the world before the middle of the 20th century. In those days, some pregnancy tests involved injecting a woman’s urine into a female frog. If the frog began ovulating within about 10 hours, there was a high likelihood that the woman was pregnant.
The frogs are no longer imported to the United States for pregnancy testing, though they are still used for scientific research.
African Clawed Frog female
.. for living naturally.
from Archigram’s archive. They rock.
These days, very little would make me happier than to get on the train that asks Americans to reconceive their relationship to beef, by removing the cow at the end of the line. Just NOW on the NYT site, “Engineering the $325,000 Burger.”
The idea of creating meat in a laboratory — actual animal tissue, not a substitute made from soybeans or other protein sources — has been around for decades. The arguments in favor of it are many, covering both animal welfare and environmental issues.
…Yet growing meat in the laboratory has proved difficult and devilishly expensive. Dr. Post, who knows as much about the subject as anybody, has repeatedly postponed the hamburger cook-off, which was originally expected to take place in November. His burger consists of about 20,000 thin strips of cultured muscle tissue. Dr. Post, who has conducted some informal taste tests, said that even without any fat, the tissue “tastes reasonably good.” For the London event he plans to add only salt and pepper.
But the meat is produced with materials — including fetal calf serum, used as a medium in which to grow the cells — that eventually would have to be replaced by similar materials of non-animal origin. And the burger was created at phenomenal cost — 250,000 euros, or about $325,000, provided by a donor who so far has remained anonymous. Large-scale manufacturing of cultured meat that could sit side-by-side with conventional meat in a supermarket and compete with it in price is at the very least a long way off.“This is still an early-stage technology,” said Neil Stephens, a social scientist at Cardiff University in Wales who has long studied the development of what is also sometimes referred to as “shmeat.” “There’s still a huge number of things they need to learn.”
– Engineering the $325,000 Burger, Henry Fountain, New York Times
Shmeat is an unfortunate moniker – a portmanteau of shit n meat.
I dream of ways to reimagine America without our beloved cow/cowboy, and start shifting the paradigms now to embrace the tube meat when it’s ready for prime-time.
In Hunan Province, a boulder was placed outside a government building to create better feng shui for superstitious civil servants. – Gilles Sabrie for The New York Times
NYT Article on employing feng shui around public spaces as manifest obfuscations in Chinese gov’t corruption coverups.
I am trying to clean out my email inbox. fun.
but i came across a note from Greg Borenstein, about a blog post he’d made on a talk by Graham Harman
and I’d transcribed Harman’s “four methods for reversing common errors in failing to see objects,” and it’s worth highlighting here, albeit sloppily -
A way to test things:
A. Counter-factualize: New context, absurd transposition
B. Hyperbolize: If one were king of the universe, where would I need help?
C. Pseudo Objectify: Can you use it as a model, emulate or parody it? Style or front *is* the whole; forget about its pieces
D. Falsification: Can you disassemble the object, “reduce it to a set?” remove the parts from ay unifying whole. Falsify or trouble the whole, accidents do this well
“I’m not seeing enough evidence of people allowing their political positions to be falsified.”