Former Marine Trains Shelter Dogs To Help Veterans

Beyond the fluff, dogs are more than just a humble companion. They act as guides for both humans and animals (including cheetahs!). However, most therapy animals are purchased from breeders, not shelters. This former marine is training abandoned dogs to help veterans suffering from PTSD, giving both a second chance at life.

In 2014, [Chris Baity] and his wife, Amanda, 35, launched Semper K9 Assistance Dogs, which provides free, trained rescue animals to be the equivalent of battle buddies for veterans suffering from physical or mental disabilities.

The dogs are trained to detect oncoming anxiety attacks and distract owners until they are calm. Because of its success, Baity’s organization has been recognized across the nation.

The volunteer-run nonprofit earned Baity the 2016 Red Bandanna Hero Award, which recognizes those whose efforts have made a difference and enhanced lives in an extraordinary way.

Remember, folks — not all heroes wear capes. Or pants.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends:

Erasing Memories Associated With Fear Now Possible

In science nowadays, if you can dream it, you can believe it will exist within the next few decades. After all, mending a broken heart is no longer just a metaphor. If you were a fan of the 2004 hit “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, you’re in for a treat. Erasing memories associated with fear is now possible, thanks to professors at the University of California and a bunch of mice.

“Using low-frequency stimulations with light, we were able to erase the fear memory by artificially weakening the connections conveying the signals of the sensory cue – a high-pitch tone in our experiments – that are associated with the aversive event, namely, the foot shock.”

The technique is called optogenetics. Scientists use light to “edit” genetically modified brain cells until fear signals are wiped completely. After initial testing, mice with an initial fear of high-pitched noises no longer responded to triggers. Sadly, the method doesn’t apply to human brain cells. If you’re afraid of clowns, it’s unfortunately going to stay that way. The study itself, however, remains valuable.

“This study expands our understanding of how adaptive fear memory for a relevant stimulus is encoded in the brain,”

“It is also applicable to developing a novel intervention to selectively suppress pathological fear while preserving adaptive fear in PTSD.”

It may be a bummer, but considering the speed at which we develop new technologies, we may just have to wait a while longer.

--> Help make the world a better place by sharing this story with your friends: