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Household Contaminants May Cause Infertility in Men, Dogs

The researchers carried out identical experiments for both species using samples of sperm from donor men and stud dogs, living in the same region

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The results showed that the pups' attractiveness was lowest at birth and increased to a maximum before 10 weeks of age before declining and then levelling off.
Representational Image. pixabay

Environmental contaminants found in home and diet have the same adverse effects on male fertility both in humans and domestic dogs, finds a new study highlighting the decline in sperm quality in both the species over the past few years.

The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed the chemicals — at concentrations relevant to environmental exposure — have the same damaging effect on sperm of both man and dog.

“We know when human sperm motility is poor, DNA fragmentation is increased and that human male infertility is linked to increased levels of DNA damage in sperm,” said co-author Rebecca Sumner, postdoctoral student at the University of Nottingham, Britain.

“We now believe this is the same in pet dogs because they live in the same domestic environment and are exposed to the same household contaminants,” Sumner said.

Family walk with dog. Pixabay

For the study, the team tested the effects of two man-made chemicals — the common plasticiser DEHP, widely used in the home (e.g. carpets, clothes, toys) and the industrial chemical polychlorinated biphenyl 153, which although banned globally, remains widely detectable in the environment, including food.

The researchers carried out identical experiments for both species using samples of sperm from donor men and stud dogs, living in the same region.

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“This new study supports our theory that the domestic dog is indeed a ‘sentinel’ or mirror for human male reproductive decline. Our findings suggest man-made chemicals, widely used in home and working environment, may be responsible for the decline in sperm quality,” lead author Richard Lea from the varsity noted. (IANS)

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Dogs can Perform Many Tricks for their Owners, but Best One might be Extending their Life

Kramer's team studied data on 3.8 million patients taken from 10 other studies conducted worldwide over more than 70 years

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Dogs, Tricks, Owners
FILE - A woman transports a Yorkshire Terrier dog in Erfurt, Germany, June 2, 2019. VOA

Dogs can perform many tricks for their owners, but the best one might be extending their life.

“Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause,” said Dr. Caroline Kramer, lead author of a study published Tuesday in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Kramer’s team studied data on 3.8 million patients taken from 10 other studies conducted worldwide over more than 70 years. They found a 24% reduction in the risk of death from all causes, and a 31% reduction of death due to cardiovascular problems.

“Having a dog was associated with increased physical exercise, lower blood pressure levels and better a cholesterol profile in previous reports,”she said.

Dogs, Tricks, Owners
“Our analysis found having a dog is actually protective against dying of any cause,” said Dr. Caroline Kramer, lead author of a study published Tuesday in Circulation. Pixabay

Another study also published Tuesday in the same journal found that dog owners living alone had a 33% better chance of surviving a heart attack than patients living alone without a dog. In stroke patients living alone, the chance of survival increased 27%.

That study was conducted in Sweden between 2001 and 2012 using the country’s National Patient Register.

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“We know that loneliness and social isolation are strong risk factors for premature death, and our hypothesis was that the company of a pet can alleviate that,” said the study’s author Tove Fall, an associate professor of epidemiology at Uppsala University in Sweden. (VOA)