Tag Archives: water

Family dog saved… by rats!

Levi by Lake JacksonAnnabelle, an Australian Shepherd, was spending time with her family at a Montana lake when disaster struck. As they were heading to the shore, Annabelle jumped out of the boat, swam to shore, and in the process of drying off, she licked her wet fur. This is a pretty normal thing for a dog to do, but this time, it almost turned deadly. 

When fertilizers or other organic nutrients enter lakes and streams, it can result in large blooms of blue-green algae called cyanobacteria. Unfortunately, cyanobacteria living in this particular lake had produced a liver toxin called microcystin, and after Annabelle ingested it, she quickly became sick. Her veterinarian rushed to find something that could save her life.

Cholestyramine, a drug that had worked against this type of poisoning in rats, was suggested. It had never been tested in dogs, but Annabelle had no other option- without some type of treatment, she would die.

After her vet administered the drug, Annabelle started improving the very next day! Researchers hope that results in one species will give them an indication of the way other species will react to the same drug or treatment. Fortunately for Annabelle, this was a case where rats and dogs had the same type of reaction to this particular treatment, and without those rats, Annabelle wouldn’t have survived. Read more about it here:


Jellyfish diapers? You bet!

iStock_000013353342SmallJellyfish. What do you think of when you hear that word? You probably don’t feel warm and fuzzy! Personally, when I think of jellyfish, I think of that Friends episode where Monica was stung and someone had to pee on her. It’s pretty funny… but that memorable show makes me always associate jellyfish with pee.

Apparently, that association really makes a lot of sense! An Israeli company is working to develop an absorbent material made out of jellyfish, and this hydromash material is supposedly much more absorbent than paper towels. They’re now considering creating paper towels, napkins, and diapers out of jellyfish! If you think about it, it makes sense- jellyfish are 90% water and live their entire lives in the water, so their tissues can obviously absorb a lot without breaking down.

A chemical extracted from jellyfish (mucin) is already used in some drug delivery systems, and now these animals could help our landfills. Diapers can take 250-500 years to decompose, but new products made out of this jellyfish ‘hydromash’ could decompose in 30 days.

What do you think? Would you use jellyfish products?