Kate Winslet Traumatised By Baby-Eating Hamster

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Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet has revealed how she was left suffering from repetitive nightmares as a child after her family refused to listen to veterinary advice and her furry pet killed its offspring.”When I was a kid, one of our hamsters suddenly gave birth – we didn’t even know she was pregnant. We phoned the pet shop and they said, ‘Take the babies away – hamsters get very frightened after they’ve given birth and you don’t want her to eat the babies.’

“We didn’t listen and that’s exactly what happened. This obviously affected me badly as I had a recurring dream about hamsters gobbling up their babies until I was about 15.

“She said: “When I was nine years old, I dreamt I was a hippo in a ballerina skirt, like the one in Fantasia. It got worse, because I had to pee in my dream and when I woke up I’d wet my bed. That’s pretty embarrassing, right?”

(source)

Shark Midwife Gives Toothy C-Section

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There’s another Octomom making headlines — but this time, she’s got serious teeth. Visitors to Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World aquarium in New Zealand got a shock when they saw one shark attack another — and baby sharks swimming out of the gash left in her side.The mother, a school shark, was brought to the aquarium after she was snared by fishermen, and aquarium staff had no idea she was pregnant, according to a press release issued by Underwater World.

When a broadnose sevengill shark took out some “normal seasonal aggression” on the expectant mother, it left a gouge big enough for the babies to swim free. Four tiny pups swam immediately out of the wound in their mom’s side. When staff treated the injured shark, they found four more babies alive inside.

“Ironically the fight their mother got into probably saved these pups’ lives! Had she given birth naturally, mostly likely at night, we probably wouldn’t have gotten to the pups in time to move them to a safe, predator-free area,” the aquarium’s curator, marine biologist Andrew Christie, said in a press release.
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Perth's Puggle Babies

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Two Puggles (baby echidnas) born in August were put on display for the media at Australia’s Perth Zoo yesterday. The Puggles’ names are Moa and Kain. Having bred the notoriously difficult-to-breed species three years in a row, the zoo believes it has the foundation of a captive breeding program for its critically endangered cousin, the long-beaked echidna of New Guinea.

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(source)

Perth's Puggle Babies

2

Two Puggles (baby echidnas) born in August were put on display for the media at Australia’s Perth Zoo yesterday. The Puggles’ names are Moa and Kain. Having bred the notoriously difficult-to-breed species three years in a row, the zoo believes it has the foundation of a captive breeding program for its critically endangered cousin, the long-beaked echidna of New Guinea.

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(source)

Chimp Babies Better Behaved Than Human Babies

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They are thought of as the mischief-makers of the animal kingdom. But baby chimps are less of a handful than their human cousins. If a young chimp is in tears, it is quickly calmed by a cuddle, research shows.This is in sharp contrast to human babies, who, as any sleep-deprived parent will know, often continue to cry, and cry, and cry.

It is thought that the chimp’s more primitive brain matures more quickly, making them better-behaved ‘children’ – at least up to the age of three months.Researcher Professor Kim Bard told the British Science Festival: ‘If you pick up a baby chimp when it is fussing (crying), it calms down and stays calm.

‘Anybody who has had a fussing child knows it is well within the range of the human norm that you pick them up and they are still fussing.‘Chimps don’t get colic, they don’t have inconsolable crying for no reason.
‘You usually pick them up and give them a cuddle and they don’t make a fuss and don’t cry any more.‘But chimps are really consolable. They seem to have better control of their behavioural traits when they’re young.’The Portsmouth University researcher is studying the facial expressions of young chimps.She has already shown they have 16 different smiles – in contrast to human babies who only manage 13 sorts of grin.
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The Monkeys That Prove Babies Can Be Born To Three Parents

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The monkeys that prove babies can be born to THREE parents… and may be the key to halting genetic illness
Scientists have produced four baby monkeys who each have three biological parents.They used an IVF procedure designed to stop the spread of incurable inherited diseases.Scientists believe the breakthrough could lead to the first geneticallyengineered children within a few years.It has provoked an ethical storm, however. Critics say it is a step towards an era of hybrid children and warn that it erodes the sanctity of life.

The technique is intended to help women who carry genetic diseases. It involves transferring healthy DNA from the mother’s egg cell into an egg donated by another woman.

Children conceived by the technique would inherit DNA from three sources – their mother, the donor and their father.The American team who produced the macaque monkeys – named Mito, Tracker, Spindler and Spindy – say the technique could be used to eradicate potentially fatal forms of inherited epilepsy, blindness and heart disease.The diseases, which affect some 150 UK babies a year, are caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA which is passed down from mothers to children.

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Mitochondria are sausage- shaped ‘power packs’ that float around inside cells, converting food into energy that the body can use. Each contains a tinystrand of DNA, carrying just 37 of the 20,000 or so human genes. The rest are in the DNA in the cell’s nucleus.Spindler is another of the four monkeys who appear healthy after the technique

Spindler is another of the four monkeys who appear healthy after they were conceived using the new techniqueMitochondrial DNA can only be passed on via mothers’ eggs, not through sperm.

Doctors have identified around 50 diseases caused by mutations of this DNA – some of which kill before adulthood. Symptoms include muscle weakness, dementia, blindness, hearing loss and heart and kidney problems.

The U.S. experiment, reported today in the journal Nature, involved researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Centre. They took an egg cell

from a mother carrying a mitochondrial disease and removed its nuclear DNA. This was then transferred into a second, healthy egg, whose own nuclear DNA had been removed.

The resulting ‘hybrid’ eggs contained nuclear DNA from the mother and fully-functioning mitochondrial DNA from the donor, and produced apparently healthy baby monkeys.

Such a process alters the DNA inherited by future generations, however – an idea that has long worried ethicists – although mitochondrial DNA affects only how cells convert food into energy, so children would inherit physical characteristics from their real mother’s nuclear DNA.

Josephine Quintavalle, of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘This is genetic engineering.

‘We should avoid at all costs interfering in the pattern of reproduction that has evolved

over millions of years. The objective is to stop mitochondrial diseases in the next generation – but it would be absurd if it unleashed something worse in generations to come.’

Stephen Green, director of pressure group Christian Voice, said he had concerns that scientists were going ‘too far, too fast’ and ‘playing God’.
He said: ‘These things are always done with the best of intentions but we have to think whether this will lead to any unintended consequences. When the child finds out they have two mummies, how will they feel?

‘We have to have a lot of sympathy for those with inherited conditions but we need to be very careful before we start interfering with nature.

‘There’s a thought that because scientists can do something they always want to do it and that’s not necessarily the right way’. But

Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University and leader of the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, said: ‘This demonstrates an exciting new route to therapy for diseases such as myopathy, in which muscle fibres do not function properly.

‘It also seems likely that mitochondrial malfunction predisposes patients to diseases such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke.’

Last year Newcastle University researchers created ten human embryos using a similar technique. They were destroyed after six days because current UK law says they cannot be kept longer than 14 days.

But the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which comes into effect on October 1, could open the door for a change in the rules.

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(source)

Babies 'really understand dogs'….

Believe it or not, babies
as young as six months can understand dogs.

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A new study, published in the latest edition of the ‘Developmental Psychology’ journal, has revealed that babies have a handle on the meaning of different dog barks, despite little or no previous exposure to dogs.
Researchers at Brigham Young University have found that infants just six months old can match the sounds of an angry snarl and a friendly yap to photos of dogs displaying threatening and welcoming body language.
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