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No Easy Answer To Growing Number Of Stray Dogs In The US

first_imgDogs rescued from floodwater wait to be transferred to a shelter after torrential rains pounded Southeast Texas following Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey on Sept. 3, 2017 in Orange, Texas.Author Peter Zheutlin never wanted a dog, let alone a rescue. He had always believed, as a lot of people do, that rescue dogs are damaged goods.Now Zheutlin can’t imagine life without a dog, and he’s become so driven by the issue of stray dogs that he’s written two books about it. He tells Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins the number of stray dogs has “cascaded out of control” in some parts of the U.S.“People are often very often surprised when I tell them that the picture … of dogs running on highways and so forth, this is not just a third world problem — that exists here in the United States,” says Zheutlin, author of the new book, Rescued: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things. There are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates about 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year.While Zheutlin makes the case for adopting dogs that are abandoned, he also acknowleges there is no easy answer to the problem. He says the supply of stray dogs greatly outweighs the demand.In Houston, Texas, alone, there are more than 1 million stray dogs, according to the city’s pet shelter, BARC. After Hurricane Harvey hit this summer, thousands of dogs were rescued from floodwaters.“These shelters, they’re dealing with an incredibly difficult problem where they may have a shelter that can hold 100 dogs, and every week a hundred more strays are coming in,” Zheutlin says. “And where do they go?”The no-kill movement has contributed to the population growth, as the number of dogs and cats that are euthanized has decreased from 20 million to 3 million each year. As NPR previously reported, there are nearly 14,000 shelters and pet rescue groups in the U.S. that acquire almost 8 million animals each year.Stray dogs also present safety issues when they roam in packs, causing traffic accidents, attacking residents and spreading disease. WHO estimates nearly 55,000 people die from rabies every year.Spay and neuter laws that vary by state have also driven the increase of abandoned dogs, especially in more rural, southern states.“The South still has a lot of work to do with spay-neuter laws, and getting people to feel that pets are more companions and parts of their family than yard dogs or that kind of thing,” Laurie McCannon, director of Northeast Animal Shelter in Massachusetts, told NPR in 2015.Several city and local governments have adopted mandatory spay-neuter ordinances, but Zheutlin points out that the stray animal issue is low on the priority list for some cash-strapped cities.“This problem has escalated to the point where it would take decades of a concentrated spay-neuter program in a city like Houston to begin to reduce the numbers,” he says. “The shelters are not often high priorities for governments either when they’ve got competing demands from the school department, the police department, the fire department, parks, sanitation. Who speaks for the dogs?”According the ASPCA, approximately 1.6 million dogs are adopted from U.S. shelters each year, but 34 percent of dogs obtained as pets still come from breeders.Many adopted dogs come from difficult circumstances, Zheutlin says, which means they could suffer from separation anxiety, barking and a lack of socialization skills. Critics of the no-kill movement say some dogs are just not fit for adoption.“At some point, you begin to adopt out animals that have serious health issues or serious temperament issues that you should not,” Patti Strand, director of the National Animal Interest Alliance, an organization that represents dog breeders, told NPR in 2014.While rescue dogs can present challenges, rehabilitation programs have led to an increase in the percentage of animals adopted, according to the ASPCA. Zheutlin suggests obtaining references before working with a rescue organization.“Those organizations work hard to make sure these dogs are socialized and ready to be placed in a home,” he says. “In the vast vast majority of cases they are so ready to be loved, and to love back dogs, I think, draw us out of our own heads and [can] help us to live more in the moment.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

FuboTV Hires Former AppNexus CTO Geir Magnusson Jr

first_imgFuboTV, a sports-centered internet pay-TV startup, has hired technology veteran Geir Magnusson Jr. as chief technology officer.Magnusson takes over the CTO role from Jason Solinsky, who departed FuboTV in the fourth quarter 2017 and has since co-founded a wireless-video startup based in New York, according to his LinkedIn bio.Most recently, Magnusson was chief technology officer of content-monetization startup Sourcepoint, which he co-founded in 2015. Before that he spent two years at digital-advertising company AppNexus, most recently as CTO; last month AT&T acquired AppNexus.FuboTV enlisted Magnusson as a technology consultant earlier this year and how now officially brought him on board as CTO. He’s tasked with leading FuboTV’s tech development and operations for the company, which expects to double its engineering team over the next few months. ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety center_img Magnusson is based in FuboTV’s New York City headquarters and reports to David Gandler, co-founder and CEO. “We are delighted to welcome aboard Geir. He has a strong track record of scaling complex global platforms and a proven ability to guide transformation at leading tech companies,” Gandler said in a statement. “We believe Geir’s expertise and passion for innovation will ensure we maintain our leadership position as we deliver to consumers a next-generation live OTT experience.”This week, FuboTV launched its first 4K content, becoming the first virtual multichannel video programming distributor to offer content in Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR) formats. Initially, FuboTV is offering Fox and FS1’s main broadcasts of 2018 World Cup matches in 4K HDR10 on all Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV devices that support the format. In January, FuboTV officially launched dynamic ad insertion on live channels, ahead of internet pay-TV rivals.Magnusson has three decades of experience leading product and engineering for technology and software companies. Previously, he held senior positions at companies including Gilt Groupe, 10gen (now MongoDB), Joost Technologies, Intel and Bloomberg.FuboTV first launched as a U.S. streaming soccer service in January 2015 and has expanded its offerings to compete with other over-the-top TV providers, including Dish’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Google’s YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.To date, the company has raised more than $150 million in funding. That included a $75 million Series D round that closed in April 2018 and included participation from 21st Century Fox, AMC Networks, Luminari Capital, Northzone, Sky and the former Scripps Networks Interactive (now owned by Discovery).last_img read more

Subtle Differences In Brain Cells Hint at Why

first_img by NPR News Jon Hamilton 8.21.19 1:23pm In mice, scientists have used a variety of drugs to treat brain disorders including murine versions of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and schizophrenia. But in people, these same treatments usually fail. And now researchers are beginning to understand why. A detailed comparison of the cell types in mouse and human brain tissue found subtle but important differences that could affect the response to many drugs, a team reports Wednesday in the journal Nature.”If you want to develop a drug that targets a specific receptor in a specific disease, then these differences really matter,” says Christof Koch, an author of the study and chief scientist and president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle.One key difference involved genes that cause a cell to respond to the chemical messenger serotonin, says Ed Lein, a study author and investigator at the institute. “They’re expressed in both mouse and human, but they’re not in the same types of cells,” Lein says. As a result, “serotonin would have a very different function when released into the cortex of the two species.”That’s potentially a big deal because antidepressants like Prozac act on the brain’s serotonin system. So testing these drugs on mice could be misleading, Lein says.The comparison was possible because of new technology that allows scientists to quickly identify which of the hundreds of types of brain cells are present in a particular bit of brain tissue.The technology does this by detecting which genes are switched on in each cell. That reveals a genetic signature indicating the type of cell.”In one fell swoop you can get a more or less comprehensive understanding of all of the different types of cells that make up a brain region,” Lein says.This also makes it much easier to compare brain tissue from different species, he says.”We now have access to this fine level of resolution in the human brain and the ability to compare across and see how good a model a mouse or a monkey actually is,” Lein says.The list of cell types also should help researchers see what goes wrong in human brain disorders, Koch says.”A lot of neurological diseases, a lot of psychiatric diseases that we’re suffering from are due to specific defects in particular types of cells,” Koch says.For example, Parkinson’s disease affects brain cells that make a substance called dopamine. And epilepsy involves special cells that tamp down brain activity.Now, researchers have a way to make sure the types of cells involved in a particular disease work the same way in people as in an animal model, Koch says.”The technology finally caught up with what we’ve been needing to do for probably over 40 years,” says Tomasz Nowakowski, an assistant professor of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco who co-wrote an editorial that accompanied the study. To compare mouse and human brain cells, researchers first analyzed sixteen thousand human brain cells taken from the middle temporal gyrus, a part of the cortex, the brain’s outermost layer. Then they looked at cells taken from the same area of a mouse brain.”In one sense, they are remarkable similar,” Koch says, noting that both mice and people had about 100 different types of cells in this region of the brain.But a close comparison of 75 of these brain cell types revealed small differences.Nowakowsky is especially intrigued by the finding that cells called microglia have a slightly different genetic signature in mice and people.”Those cells are the immune cells of the brain,” he says. “And you might imagine that studies or insights into neuroimmune disorders, for example, might be vastly affected by this difference.”Neuroimmune disorders include multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. But there’s growing evidence that microglia also play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease.And that could be one reason experimental Alzheimer’s drugs have helped mice, but not people.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Subtle Differences In Brain Cells Hint at Why Many Drugs… David Robertson, ICRlast_img read more