CIDRAP — H7N8 detections at more Indiana farms suggest mutation

Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jan 19, 2016

Testing at nearby farms in the wake of a highly pathogenic H7N8 avian flu outbreak that struck a turkey facility in southern Indiana last week turned up a low-pathogenic version of the virus eight more farms, hinting that the virus mutated to a more lethal strain as it spread.

In a related development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that, because H7 viruses have infected people before, so human infections from the new strain could occur, though the risk to the general public is low.

Although many questions remain about the newly detected strain, tests show that Indiana’s H7N8 strain is a North American lineage virus, according to a Jan 15 report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Deaths at the Dubois County turkey producer prompted testing, and results were confirmed and announced on Jan 15

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For the complete CIDRAP article, please see:
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2016/01/h7n8-detections-more-indiana-farms-suggest-mutation

CIDRAP — High-path H7N8 outbreak reported at Indiana turkey farm

Lisa Schnirring | News Editor | CIDRAP News | Jan 15, 2016

A highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza strain that hasn’t been seen in the United States before has struck a commercial turkey farm in southern Indiana, prompting the culling of about 60,000 birds, federal and state officials announced today.

The strain is different than the one that caused more than 200 outbreaks in US poultry last year and hasn’t caused any known human infections, according to a statement from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

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For the complete CIDRAP article, see:
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2016/01/high-path-h7n8-outbreak-reported-indiana-turkey-farm

RE: A simple explanation for the evolution of complex song syntax in Bengalese finches by Anthony Olszewski

RE: A simple explanation for the evolution of complex song syntax in Bengalese finches
by Anthony Olszewski

The comments below concern
A simple explanation for the evolution of complex song syntax in Bengalese finches
Kentaro Katahira, Kenta Suzuki, Hiroko Kagawa, Kazuo Okanoya
. . .
For the complete commentary, please see:
http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/9/6/20130842.e-letters

Sound Analysis Tools for Matlab & Bird-Puffer system

Ofer Tchernichovski
to birdsong-L

Dear friends,

We would like to share with you two methods and software tools we developed: Sound Analysis Tools for Matlab, and a system, which we call ‘Bird-puffer’, for rapid auditory discrimination training of zebra finches using social reinforcement.

Sound Analysis Tools for Matlab (SAT) is similar to Sound Analysis Pro, but is modular and easy to manipulate and combine with your own code. It should be useful even without any coding: the user interface is similar to that of SAP, and it can be used for exploring sounds, extracting features, and calculating similarity. Through Matlab, these tools are now available for both Mac and PC users.

Click here for download and more information (including user manual).      I am happy to answer questions.

Bird-puffer is a combined software/hardware solution to rapidly train zebra finches to discriminate between songs. It can be used to train naïve birds within 3 hourly sessions, while experienced birds can lean to discriminate between songs within several minutes. Zebra finches love to socialize and they never seem to get enough of it. The system includes two cages with a little window for socializing. By choosing to socialize next to the window, the bird will voluntarily risk receiving an air-puff (harmless but unpleasant), which our software associates with specific sounds. Birds quickly learn to escape the air puff by flying away after hearing those sounds. Click here for downloading the software (for Windows only) and for hardware installation instructions. Kirill Tokarev (who co-developed this system) and I will be happy to answer questions.

We hope you will find these useful,

Happy New Year!

Kirill & Ofer