Dark Side of Cow Chips
I was once told that, in brisk wintry regions where trees
are scarce and the price of purchasing wood log is cost prohibited, many
ranchers would use cattle dung to light their fires. Yes, you read that right.
Cattle dung -- otherwise known to city dwellers as cow chips or patties. Well, it seems that these gifts for nature,
if you will, can be used for not only warming the nest, but are also useful for
Throughout history, cow manure has warmed homes and been
utilized as soil fertilizer for the crops. Supposedly, painted chips were used
for sporting entertainment when they were hurled through the air as
alternatives to horse shoes with a goal of hitting a stationary target. Yes,
animal manure has been very, very good for aiding human’s in their endeavors, but
just recently a team of agricultural and microbiology scientists discovered this
animal waste has a dark side to its nature.
It seems that dairy cow manure might be the source of new
antibiotic resistance (AR) genes. These genes are transferred to bacteria in
the soils where food is cultivated. According to the American Society of
Microbiology (ASM), the AR genes are a product of cattle’s gut bacteria. Now,
while a percentage is harmful, others cause food-borne illnesses or hospital
The agriculture and microbiology fields are collaborating to
address strains that may present problems. They are actively working to
identify and screen *** for strains of E. coli microbes, which are resistant
to amino glycosides, antibiotics beta-lactams, chloramphenicol and
As scientists, we know that even cattle poop signifies the
circle of life.
The primary source of the virus has been identified. Another
good piece of news is that vaccination of camels to combat MERS is underway.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the
World Health organization (WHO) are working collaboratively to monitor and
address global solutions. Both agencies are alerting citizens via public health
alerts to be watchful of flu-symptoms including fever and cough, diarrhea and
shortness of breath. Untreated MERS can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.
There has been a breakthrough in that lab scientists and
public health officials are pushing to inoculate camels, so as to reduce the
likelihood of humans becoming infected. An animal vaccine is available to
provide long tern protection against Camelpox virus.