NY Man Who Snapped Dog's Spine Gets Year In Prison

A New York man who killed his girlfriend’s dog by snapping its spine has been sentenced to a year behind bars.
Twenty-one-year-old Jonathan King, of Yorktown, was sentenced Tuesday. King has admitted that he killed Libra, a Yorkshire terrier-Maltese mix, in April 2009 by yanking its collar hard enough to dislocate its head from its spine.

Prosecutors say King went to his girlfriend’s house at a time when he knew no one would be home and killed the dog “with no justifiable purpose.”
The dog’s body was found behind a clothes dryer. King was identified when DNA analysis determined that blood found beneath the dog’s claws was his.

Steven Levine, the father of the dog’s owner, says the family considers King “a danger to our family, our community and our society.”

(source)

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Scientists Incorporate Spider’s Silk-Spinning Genes Into Goats

Researchers from the University of Wyoming have developed a way to incorporate spiders’ silk-spinning genes into goats, allowing the researchers to harvest the silk protein from the goats’ milk for a variety of applications. For instance, due to its strength and elasticity, spider silk fiber could have several medical uses, such as for making artificial ligaments and tendons, for eye sutures, and for jaw repair. The silk could also have applications in bulletproof vests and improved car airbags.

Normally, getting enough spider silk for these applications requires large numbers of spiders. However, spiders tend to be territorial, so when the researchers tried to set up spider farms, the spiders killed each other.

To solve this problem, Randy Lewis, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Wyoming, and other researchers decided to put the spiders’ dragline silk gene into goats in such a way that the goats would only make the protein in their milk. Like any other genetic factor, only a certain percentage of the goats end up with the gene. For instance, of seven goat kids born in February 2010, three have tested positive for having the silk protein gene. When these transgenic goats have kids and start lactating, the researchers will collect the milk and purify the spider silk protein into “much, much higher quantities,” Lewis said.
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What Pets Can Teach Us About Marriage

Do you greet each other with excitement, overlook each other’s flaws and easily forgive bad behavior? If it’s your pet, the answer is probably yes. But your spouse? Probably not.In an article on PsychCentral, clinical psychologist Suzanne B. Phillips of Long Island University explores what our relationships with pets can teach us about our relationship with a spouse or romantic partner.

“What is interesting in my work with couples is that although couples may vehemently disagree on most topics, they usually both soften in manner and tone to agree that the dog, cat, bird or horse is great,” Dr. Phillips writes.She argues that we all have much to learn from the way we love our pets. People often describe pets as undemanding and giving unconditional love, when the reality is that pets require a lot of time and attention, special foods and care. They throw up on rugs, pee in the house and steal food from countertops. Yet we accept their flaws because we love them so much.
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