Tesla’s Love is the blog for and about people who love animals. No one here cares whether it walks, crawls, swims, slithers, hobbles or knows how to fly, if there is a story about an animal that you love or loves you, this is the place to share that story. The story can be a tribute, a love story or a memorial. It can be about you, this truly is a site for people. Send your story and photos to teslaslove@gmail.com and we promise to post it here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

DEP Press Release - Be Bear Aware

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reminds residents to take steps to reduce contact and conflicts with bears.  These steps are becoming increasingly important as bears emerge from winter hibernation looking for food and because the state's bear population is growing.  This growing and expanding population is estimated at between 300 to 500 bears, increasing the need for people to know how to prevent problems.  In 2010, the DEP received over 3,000 bear sighting reports from 115 of Connecticut's 169 towns.  This spring, the DEP has already received several reports of bears coming into populated areas and interacting with humans and animals.  When bears emerge from their winter dens, natural foods are scarce and, as a result, bears are often attracted to human-provided foods found near homes.  On rare occasions they may attack livestock.

"As Connecticut's bear population continues to grow, residents of our state should familiarize themselves with steps they can take to avoid contact with this species," said Susan Frechette, Deputy Commissioner of the DEP.  "Most unwanted contacts occur when bears are attracted close to homes by food – such as bird feed, refuse and residue on grills – that is made available to them.  This can lead to more serious problems, including habituated bears that have lost their fear of humans.  The best method to prevent problems with bears is to avoid feeding them by taking down bird feeders in the spring, keep garbage cans in a shed or a garage or tightly secured and keep outdoor cooking equipment clean."

The two most common food attractants are bird feeders and poorly-stored household garbage.  Birdfeeders should be taken down and put away during spring, summer, and fall.  Household garbage should be stored in closed garages or sheds. In cases where this can't be done, ammonia should be added to the garbage bags and cans to discourage pilfering by bears and other animals.  Other items that can attract bears include pet and livestock foods, grease and drippings on barbecue grills, sweet or fatty food scraps in compost piles, and fruit on or dropped from trees.

            Although uncommon, bears will attack and kill livestock, such as sheep, goats, pigs, and fowl.  They also can destroy unprotected beehives.  One of the best precautions for these problems is well-maintained electric fencing.  Other recommendations for livestock growers include moving animals into sheds at night, keeping feed contained, keeping animals as distant from forested areas as possible, and using guard dogs.

The DEP encourages residents to take the following simple steps to avoid problems with black bears:

1.      Never intentionally feed bears.

2.      Take down, clean, and put away birdfeeders by late March. Store the feeders until late fall. Clean up spilled seed below feeder stations.

3.      Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or storage area. Double bagging and the use of ammonia will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Garbage for pickup should be put outside the morning of collection and not the night before.

4.      Avoid leaving pet food or dishes outdoors at night.

5.      Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed.

6.      Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods in compost piles.

7.      Protect beehives, livestock, and berry bushes from bears with electric fencing.

8.      Keep dogs on a leash outdoors. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.


If you encounter a bear while hiking, make your presence known by yelling or making other loud noises.  Usually, a bear will move from an area once it detects humans.  If a bear does not retreat, slowly leave the area and find an alternate hiking route.  While camping, be aware that most human foods are also attractive to bears.  Keep a clean campsite, and make sure food and garbage are secure (for example, keep food in a cooler stored in the trunk of a car).

Prevention and tolerance are the basis for learning to live with bears in Connecticut.  It is important to remember that although black bears regularly travel near houses, they are rarely aggressive toward humans and can usually be frightened away by making loud noises, throwing sticks, or spraying with a garden hose.  However, it is not uncommon for bears that have found food, such as birdseed from feeders, to ignore such disturbances. In the rare instance when a bear appears to be aggressive toward people, residents should contact the DEP Wildlife Division Sessions Woods office at 860-675-8130 (Mon.-Fri. from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM) or the DEP's 24-hour dispatch line (860-424-3333) during weekends and non-business hours.

Bear sightings reported by the public provide valuable information to assist the DEP Wildlife Division in monitoring the black bear population.  Anyone who observes a black bear in Connecticut is encouraged to report the sighting on the DEP's Web site (www.ct.gov/dep) or call the Wildlife Division's Sessions Woods office.  Some bears have been ear-tagged for research.  Information on the presence or absence of tags, including tag color, letters and numbering is particularly valuable.  To obtain informational fact sheets about bears, visit the DEP's Web site or call the Sessions Woods office.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Get a view to Prince William and his bride, and have tea at the Fairfield Public Library

Celebrate the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. with Miss Catherine Middleton, Commoner at the Fairfield Public Library from noon to 2 p.m.  April 29.
The celebration will take place in the Rotary Room of the Main Library, 1080 Old Post Road.
Historian Dr. Mona Garcia will speak at noon.  
Highlights from the ceremony will be shown on the Library's 120" Hi-Definition projection system complete with surround sound and Blu-ray player.   Tea will be served at 1 p.m.  Afternoon attire:  hats and gloves are highly recommended.  There will be some prizes awarded to the best dressed attendees especially those whose hats are stand-outs.   

Garcia taught European history at the college level and is on staff as a Reference Librarian in the Fairfield Public Library system.  She has presented papers at academic conferences in the United States and Great Britain, and has publications in her field of English history, one of which has been included in the Royal Historical Society Bibliography.

A reply is requested to:  Fairfield Public Library website www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org or call 203-256-3160. 
Registration is necessary.  Follow the Fairfield Public Library for more exciting programs on Twitter: www.twitter.com/fairfieldpublib and Facebook:  www.facebook.com/fairfieldlibrary.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Immune Therapy Can Control Fertility in Mammals

Editor's note: All information posted here is from an unedited press release. It is posted here as a public service only.
NEW YORK (March 31, 2011)
-- Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have shown that it is possible to immunize mammals to control fertility. They say their technique could possibly be used on other mammals -- including humans -- because fertility hormones and their receptors are species-non-specific and are similar in both females and males. For pets, the technique could be an alternative to castration and adverse effects of hormone administration.

In the Feb. 24 online issue of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Journal, the researchers say their newly synthesized novel chimeric genes produce bi-functional recombinant proteins that are antigenic. The antibodies can tamp down production of progesterone in females and testosterone in males. The most immediate use of this technique might be to control fertility in dogs and cats or other mammals in need of population control, says the study's lead investigator, Dr. Brij B. Saxena, the Harold and Percy Uris Professor of Reproductive Biology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

After extensive preclinical testing for the efficacy, safety and reversibility in animals, the immune therapy might be possible in humans as a treatment for androgen excess syndromes as well as an immunological method to control fertility, adds Dr. Saxena.

The new chimeric gene was engineered by Dr. Saxena and his Weill Cornell colleagues, Dr. Meirong Hao and Dr. Premila Rathnam, and then inserted into insect cells to produce recombinant bi-functional protein. Immunity against fertility can be provided by the production of a bi-functional antibody by active or passive immunization using the recombinant protein.

This new gene contains DNA sequences from two natural genes that are integral to fertility in mammals. One portion is the extracellular domain (ECD) of the ligand (hormone) binding region of the human lutropin/human chorionic gonadotropin receptor (ECD-hLH-R), which is present in the ovaries and testes. The other component is the unique C-terminal peptide of the human chorionic gonadotropin β-subunit (hCG β-CTP).
Key to development of this new chimeric gene and recombinant protein is the researchers' finding that the hLH-R and hCG-β-CTP recombinant proteins are antigenic -- meaning that they can produce an immune response in the body, and produce bifunctional antibodies with dual effect. The antibodies are able to block the hormone binding to the receptor and thus suppress the signal to produce ovarian hormones, specifically progesterone. The second component of the antibody specific to hCG β-CTP would neutralize the hCG-like material produced by the fertilized egg prior to or at the time of implantation. This would lead to lack of stimulation to promote progesterone production by the corpus luteum, resulting in the lack of proliferation of endometrial growth that is vital for the implantation of the fertilized egg -- thus preventing pregnancy.
The scientists are now working on methods to upscale the production of recombinant chimeric protein to be tested as antigens in dogs and cats.
The study was funded by Concept-II, New York, NY.

Dogs, Dogs and More Dogs

The Fidelco Open House from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 16 includes tours of the Fidelco campus, a West Hartford police K-9 demonstration and interactive sessions on how Fidelco guide dogs are trained and utilized by clients.
The event is free and takes place rain or shine at Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, Inc. 103 Old Iron Ore Road, Bloomfield, Conn.
 "Fidelco is New England's only guide dog school and is in the forefront in serving the community of the blind by breeding, training and placing German shepherd guide dogs that help bring our clients greater freedom and independence," according to a statement. The "Open House is a chance for the public to meet us and learn more about our Mission and operations."
 For more information and directions to Fidelco, visit http://www.fidelco.org/