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The Power of Two

Dark Side of Cow Chips

Published May 20, 2014 2:10 PM by Eleanor Wolfram

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 medical interventions.

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 infections.

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 tetracycline.

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.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram


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