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Buenos Aires Zoo puts white Bengal tiger triplets on display

Buenos Aires, Apr 17 (EFE).- The Buenos Aires Zoo has put its white Bengal tiger triplets, who were born three months ago, on display, officials at the Argentine wildlife park said. "The cubs, two females and a male, weighed around one kilo (2.2 pounds) at birth after being born normally following a gestation period of 105 days," zoo veterinarian Miguel Perez told Efe. The three cubs inherited the black stripes on white coats of parents "Cleo" and "Rhiano," the zoo's youngest pair of tigers.

Ebola virus circulating in Guinea is new strain

The virus that has caused a deadly Ebola epidemic in Guinea is a new strain that emerged locally, possibly transmitted by fruit bats, virologists have said. The outbreak is the first to be recorded in west Africa, but researchers said the virus causing it did not come from other countries where Ebola already circulates. An international team of scientists unravelled the genome of the virus and found it to be distinct from strains in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, though they share an ancestor.

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors. Using data from a set of twins, one with Down's and one without, researchers found a major difference in how genes functioned between the two. The twins were born from a single egg that split, which means their DNA code started off identical.

Vermont steps closer to passing GMO food-labeling law

By Carey Gillam and Lisa Baertlein (Reuters) - The Vermont Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would make it the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require other states to pass GMO labeling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont's contains no such trigger clause.

Paleontologists discover land herbivores' earliest ancestor

Paleontologists unearthed the oldest ancestor of land-dwelling herbivores with the discovery of a 300-million-year-old skeleton, shedding light onto plant eaters' emergence on land, a study said Wednesday. A partial fossil of the animal, called Eocasea martini, is "the first link between carnivores and herbivores, the transition," Robert Reisz, the article's principal author and professor at Canada's University of Toronto Mississauga, told AFP. Eocasea was a carnivore, but had certain skeletal features that indicate it was a close relative of herbivores, Reisz said.

California weighs listing grey wolf as endangered species while other states allow hunts

FRESNO, Calif. - While much of the country has relaxed rules on killing grey wolves, California will consider protecting the species after a lone wolf from Oregon raised hopes the animals would repopulate their historic habitat in the Golden State. The California Fish and Game Commission on Wednesday postponed for three months a decision on whether to list the grey wolf as endangered. Commissioners heard impassioned arguments from environmentalists who want the wolves to again to roam the state and from cattle ranchers who fear for their herds.

Experimental drug offers promise in fight against measles

An experimental antiviral drug taken orally could help contribute to the eradication of measles, an infection responsible for thousands of deaths per year, scientists said in a report Wednesday. The drug, so far tested on animals, has been effective on a virus closely related to the one that causes measles, having reduced virus levels and prevented death.

Experimental drug offers promise in fight against measles

An experimental antiviral drug taken orally could help contribute to the eradication of measles, an infection responsible for thousands of deaths per year, scientists said in a report Wednesday. The drug, so far tested on animals, has been effective on a virus closely related to the one that causes measles, having reduced virus levels and prevented death.

Jenny McCarthy 'irresponsible' for telling parents not to vaccinate kids: minister

TORONTO - It's "outrageously irresponsible" for celebrities like Jenny McCarthy to encourage parents not to immunize their children against potentially deadly diseases, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews said Wednesday. McCarthy, currently co-host of talk show The View, has been vocal about her belief that vaccines can cause autism in children like her son — a claim largely based on a research paper that has since been denounced as fraudulent. "The science is very clear," said Matthews.

Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania's stray dogs

By Radu Marinas and Bogdan Cristel BUCHAREST (Reuters) - When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania's capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 donation scheme. A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe - and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes.
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