Week 12: Placing Animals

Placing Animals:

This book had some really interesting points about how people think about animals. The discussion on pets was interesting to me, and how people view their companions and what they’re willing to pay to have companionship. Taking a step back, especially from a pet owner like myself, animals do not give anything to humans except companionship and animals are expensive to keep alive and healthy. Especially going to different countries the view on animals varies from place to place, animals have different categories of “pet” versus “livestock”/animal (for food) such as guinea pigs in most first world countries are cute classroom pets, but are a delicacy in Colombia Ecuador and Peru. Or how we view animals with cultural versus economic significance such as the cow: in countries like the United States, beef is one of the top consumed meats whereas in India cows are views as the vessel that all the gods reside in the bodies of Kamadhenu (the name for the generic cow). Then derives the question to how people expect to give animals equal rights when animals are treated differently in varying countries. Its weird to think about this issue because there are so many people on our Earth and we have different belief systems and we do not take into account the rights of the animals, which if anything is the good of what the humans think are right.

Current Event:

A new method could push research into developmental brain disorders an important step forward. This is shown by a recent study in which the researchers investigated the development of a rare congenital brain defect, Miller-Dieker syndrome. This hereditary disorder is attributed to a chromosome defect. As a consequence, patients present malformations of important parts of their brain. To do so, they converted skin cells from patients into so called induced pluripotent stem cells. From these ‘jack-of-all-trades’ cells, they generated brain organoids – small three-dimensional tissues which resemble the structure and organization of the developing human brain.

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