Common Chemical Linked to Rare Birth Defect in Mice

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A chemical commonly used in consumer and agricultural products to boost the effectiveness of insecticides has been linked to a rare birth defect in mice. The chemical, piperonyl butoxide or PBO for short, is widely used as a “synergist” in household and agricultural insecticides to make the toxic effects of the insecticide longer lasting and to reduce the amount of actual insecticide in a product.
Despite its widespread and growing use, as well as its ubiquity in the environment, the chemical has been little studied. Now, a team led by Robert Lipinski, a professor of comparative biosciences in the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine, reports that PBO interferes with the critical signaling pathway dubbed by scientists as sonic hedgehog, resulting in stunted forebrain development and signature facial abnormalities. The study is published this week (Oct. 23, 2019) in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.  

Study: Vaccines Could Prevent Cancer in Dogs, Eventually Humans

Posted on Wisconsin State Journal
A "paradigm shift" in cancer research, the new technology could prevent cancer from developing by training the immune system to kill cells while they're small. Three veterinary centers from across the country, including the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, are participating in the five-year study — the largest clinical trial of a veterinary medicine in history.