By Published On: 7 May 2013377 words1.9 min read

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Scientists Use DNA From Poop to Track Rare Tigers. “Bengal tigers can be elusive. They’re classified as an endangered species, they’re mostly nocturnal, and if they had their way, they wouldn’t see many humans, either. Native to Southeast Asia, there are only an estimated 1,850 left in the wild. That makes counting them somewhat difficult—but researchers in Nepal have developed a system that they think will make it easier to figure out how many tigers live there. They’re pulling genetic data out of their poop.”

Yes, People Are Giving Their Pets Medical Marijuana. “Is it ever a good idea to get your dog or cat stoned? California veterinarian Doug Kramer says the answer depends on whether your pet could be classified as a medical marijuana patient. ‘I do think there are therapeutic benefits to it,’ says Kramer, who some years ago found that his homemade pot tinctures helped his own dog, a husky named Nikita, fight pain and regain her appetite after she came down with cancer.”

Insects source of protein instead of meat. “Insects are regularly eaten by as much as 80% of the worlds population, but even the very thought of it seems shocking to most people in the UK. But as the global population continues to grow, there is a growing move towards eating insects as a staple part of our diet. Researchers in the Netherlands are looking at ways to persuade people to get their protein from bugs instead.”

Mercury exposure linked to dramatic decline in Arctic foxes. “Scientists say that foxes in Arctic regions who feed on ocean prey are being exposed to dangerous levels of mercury. On one Russian island where the population of foxes has crashed, the researchers believe the toxin has played a key role in the decline. They say the findings could have important implications for conservation. The data is published in the Journal, PLOS ONE. Mercury levels in the world’s oceans have doubled over the past 100 years, according to the UN, with more mercury deposited in the Arctic than on any other part of the planet. The Arctic Council says there has been a ten-fold increase in the levels of mercury found in top predators in the region over the past 150 years.”

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