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Latest University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna Stories

2013-06-11 21:08:00

Individuals of a particular species generally differ from one another. We are clearly most adept at recognizing members of our own species, although dog and cat owners will be ready to confirm that their pets look unique. Differences within species relate to characteristics such as size and shape but also to color: it is not only humans that show a wide range of skin pigmentation. Nevertheless, the cause of the variation in skin color in animals has remained largely a matter for conjecture....

2013-06-07 13:07:10

Many animals are able to discriminate between related and unrelated individuals but how they do so has proven remarkably difficult to understand. Joachim Frommen and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have investigated the issue using the three-spined stickleback and its shoaling preferences as a model system. It turns out that the fish prefer kin to unrelated conspecifics, regardless of how familiar they are with individual shoal members. The results indicate that...

Additional Strategies Needed To Control Parasitic Diseases
2013-06-04 15:45:07

University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna Almost one in six people worldwide are infected by parasitic worms, while parasitic infections of livestock cause economic losses of billions of Euro per year. Resistance to the few drugs available to treat infections is increasing and there is an urgent need to identify additional strategies to control parasitic diseases. A new study by Martina Ondrovics and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna describes a rational approach...

Understanding The Evolving Diversity Of Microbial Life In Bird Guts
2013-05-31 12:26:54

University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna Gut bacteria are known to have a central role both in human and in animal health. Animals acquire different bacteria as they age but how the microbial communities in the bodies of wild animals change over time is not well understood. Wouter van Dongen and colleagues at the Vetmeduni Vienna have examined the gastrointestinal bacteria of chick and adult black-legged kittiwakes. Surprisingly, the microbial assemblages of chicks and adults generally...

Are You My Daddy? Infidelity And Paternity In Reed Warblers
2013-05-16 12:05:08

University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna Many species pair for life, or so the story goes. In reality, there is quite a bit of cheating going on. Both male and female partners may have “affairs” outside the pair bond. In such cases, how is a male to know if the chicks he is feeding are really his? Depending on the species, males have different strategies. They may try to ensure paternity by increased surveillance and fighting off the competition, or by having more frequent sex...

2013-04-23 13:04:39

It may be slighter later than expected but spring finally seems to be upon us. Unfortunately, this also means the start of the tick season, both for humans and for their pets. But when exactly is the risk of dogs´ picking up ticks greatest?  Detailed information is now provided by a comprehensive study by Georg Duscher and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, published in the online journal Parasites & Vectors.  And in a related article, also...

Do Horses Get Stage Fright?
2013-02-19 11:54:52

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna Most of us are familiar with stage fright — with all its nasty manifestations such as rapid pulse, dry mouth, shaky voice, blushing and sweaty palms — but is the condition restricted to humans? How do animals react to the presence of human audiences? These questions have recently been addressed by the group of Christine Aurich at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. Their results confirm that horse riders suffer more stress...

2012-12-18 11:09:21

In the twentieth century the sequencing of an entire genome of a higher (eukaryotic) organism was a truly exceptional event — by the end of the year 2000, only four such sequences were available.  Since then, technological advances have put whole-genome sequencing within the reach of many more groups and new sequences have appeared at regular intervals. Viola Nolte in the group of Christian Schlötterer at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has just published...

Secret To Fitness For Toad Sperm Is To Mate Frequently
2012-12-04 16:05:33

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna An increasing number of men suffer from fertility problems, especially in western society. The general belief is that many problems may be related to stress but it is possible that some of them may arise because men simply have intercourse too infrequently. This is the intriguing implication of recent research at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, that has just been published in the international online journal PLoS ONE. Fertility...

Zebrafish Perform Colorful Courtship Displays
2012-11-30 14:58:35

University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna Billy Ocean may not have been thinking of fish when he wrote “The Color of Love”, but Sophie Hutter, Attila Hettyey, Dustin Penn, and Sarah Zala from the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna were able to show that zebrafish males and females both wear their brightest colors while wooing a mate. Elaborate secondary sexual displays are often overlooked because many species attract mates...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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