The northeastern United States may see a significant increase in cases of Lyme disease this spring, an expert warns. The reason is that oak trees produced relatively few acorns in the fall, part of a normal cycle of boom-and-bust years for the acorn crop. But the small crop means trouble for the white-footed mouse, which feeds on the acorns.

Pharma and farm animals

Vegetarians and others who avoid eating meat for religious or cultural reasons may unknowingly be consuming gelatin derived from animal products when they take prescription medications, a new study found. Animal-derived gelatin is a commonly used coating agent in medications, and it is also used as a thickener in some liquid and semisolid drugs. The gelatin is contained in ingredients known as excipients -- inactive substances such as sweeteners, fillers and lubricants -- which typically are not listed on a drug's label.

-- HealthDay

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