Abstracts: Diversity in Lab Mice, Preparing for Protests, and More


• Most rodents used in biomedical labs are male, but a growing body of evidence that males and females process pain differently has led some to wonder if the medical community might have a diversity problem among its lab animals. (Wired)

Hospitals in Cleveland and Philadelphia are preparing for possible violence and riots at the presidential conventions this month. Visual: Mooch Cassidy/Flickr

• Hospitals in Cleveland and Philadelphia are gearing up for the presidential conventions. They’re getting ready to deal with cases of dehydration, exhaustion, and intoxication, but in such a heated political climate, they’re also making plans to deal with mass violence, riots, fist fights, shootings — and even terrorism. (STAT)

• The House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would require companies to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients. But those labels could come in the form QR codes, which consumers would have to scan. (NPR)

• In Florida, billions of dollars have been spent to protect and restore the everglades. But its main polluter, the sugar industry, is thriving more than ever. (Miami Herald)

• California isn’t the only state with water woes. For only the second time, Massachusetts state officials have declared a drought watch and are asking citizens in the central and northern parts of the state, including Boston, to conserve water. (Boston Globe)

• A growing community of people are trying to enhance their brain power through electric shock, but researchers are worried that their efforts are getting ahead of the science. (Vox)

• In 1986, a carbon dioxide cloud burst from Cameroon’s Lake Nyos, killing 1,746 people. The exact cause was controversial, but now 30 years later, researchers have come to terms with what happened and have taken steps to prevent a similar event in the future. (Eos)

• The problem of determining the age of fossils has plagued anthropology for over a century. While modern anthropologists now have more advanced tools to help them, their methods are still limited. (Aeon)

• And finally, a new startup will use genetic sequencing to test identify pathogens in soil, giving farmers insight into what crops will grow best or what techniques they can use to improve yields.