Discovered: There's nasty stuff in our chicken that shouldn't be there, a more sustainable replacement for whale vomit, Florida's pythons are getting hungry and Earth doesn't want humans to get into its copper stash.
- There's nasty stuff in our chicken that shouldn't be there. Mmm. Banned antiobiotics. Chances are that's what's in your feathered animal meat. Banned drugs were found in 8 of 12 samples meal given to poultry in a multstate study. "The discovery of certain antibiotics in feather meal strongly suggests the continued use of these drugs, despite the ban put in place in 2005 by the FDA," explains researcher David Love. This particularly troubling because the FDA disallows these drugs for a reason. "With such a ban, you would expect a decline in resistance to these drugs. The continued use of fluoroquinolones and unintended antibiotic contamination of poultry feed may help ex-plain why high rates of fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter continue to be found on commercial poultry meat products over half a decade after the ban," he continues. Mmm. Bacteria. It's worth noting that after The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof noted this, The National Chicken Council released a statement about the findings. [Environmental Science and Technology]
- Say goodbye to whale barf in perfumes. First of all, news to us that whale vomit ended up in perfume. But, alas, that's a thing. Anyway, to make fancy perfumes stay on skin longer, perfume makers harvest ambergris -- the not gross name for whale puke -- adding it to their scented mixtures. Now, science has a replacement for that, identifying a gene in the balsam fir, which has similar properties. "The use of ambergris in the fragrance industry has been controversial," explains researcher Joerg Bohlmann. "First of all, it's an animal byproduct and the use of such in cosmetics has been problematic, not to mention it comes from the sperm whale, an endangered species." Less gross, more sustainable, and Bohlmann claims less expensive. Wins all around. [Journal of Biological Chemistry]
- Florida's pythons are getting hungry. The Burmese python, native to Asia, somehow (probably because of humans) found a home in the Everglades, where they're eating everything up. At first they just settled for area birds, but new research finds they're now going after the eggs straight out of the nest. Not only is that just rude, but it's bad news for the bird population, which is already in trouble. "Although the sample size is small, these findings suggest that the snakes have the potential to negatively affect the breeding success of native birds," explains researcher Carla Dove. [Smithsonian]
- Earth doesn't want humans to get into its copper stash. Considering humans have raped copper and every other resource Earth has to offer, this might be a good move on our planet's part. The Earth has done what anyone looking to hide something would would do: Buried the copper way deep down. "Everything throughout history shows us that Earth does not want to give up its copper to the continental crust," explains researcher Cin-Ty Lee. "This explains why copper deposits, in general, are so rare," Lee said. "The Earth wants to hold it deep and not give it up." Good move, Earth. [Rice]