News Bites for 22 January 2022

COVID-19 detection dogs used by touring rock stars

 

Rock stars in the United States are using COVID-19 detection dogs in an effort to ensure that their tours don’t get shut down. The dogs are provided by Ohio-based company Bio-Detection K9, and according to Rolling Stone magazine, bands like Tool, Metallica and the Black Keys have all been using the detection dogs to sniff for traces of the coronavirus within the band’s crew, touring party and anyone backstage.  
 
The canine detection dogs were utilised by Metallica for their 40th anniversary shows in San Francisco late last year, and another team of dogs will be used on Tool’s forthcoming tour. After six weeks of training, the dogs are taught to sniff people’s hands and feet, and to sit down if they detect the virus. The process needed to be adapted for the Omicron variant, as the virus localises in the bronchial passageways – the dogs now sniff people’s masks instead. Full story: Rolling Stone

 

Dog Aging Project receives a funding boost

 

The Dog Aging Project, a scientific initiative to help companion dogs and people live longer, healthier lives together, has received a US$2.5 million pledge from a consortium of tech entrepreneurs in order to expand the initiative’s research into longevity science. The Dog Aging Project has two goals: to understand how genes, lifestyle, and environment influence aging, and to intervene to increase healthspan, the period of life spent free from disease. 
 
More than 32,000 companion dogs and their owners are already part of the Dog Aging Project, the largest canine health study in the world. Led by scientists at the University of Washington and Texas A&M University, the research team includes more than 70 researchers and veterinarians from over 20 academic institutions across the United States. 
 
As an open science project, data collected by the Dog Aging Project will be made available to researchers around the world via Terra, a cloud computing platform hosted by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. In addition, biological samples will be banked at the Dog Aging Project Biobank housed at Cornell University. Full story: University of Washington