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For Sardinia's Giara Horses, A Winter Battle For Survival

In the mountains of central Sardinia, the Giara horses are at risk again. The total population is estimated at around just 700 horses, and the breed has been considered at risk of extinction since 1971.

Named for the Giara plateau on which they roam, the steep cliffs, difficulty of access and the isolated location have protected the wild horses in recent centuries. Sadly, with a lack of grass and deep puddles formed by the heavy rains that autumn brought the region, food is scarce and some of the horses have been already found dead, although many have been rescued, La Nuova Sardegna reports.

Rainy season on the island began late this year and the plateau has become a largely uncontrolled area when it comes to grazing. Flocks of sheep and herds of goats and cows have invaded the area, consuming much of the available water and food.

Images of the horses in distressing situations have been circulating in the Italian media since the beginning of December, and volunteers have begun campaigns to rescue as many as possible. Officially owned by the city councils of Gesturi, Setzu and Tuili, the horses are now potential victims to Italy's complicated bureaucratic system — and must await the transfer of regional funds.

Photo: Helga Steinreich

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Future

Benjamin Button For Real? Scientists Are Close To Cracking The Code To Reverse Aging

The discovery that earned Japan's Shinya Yamanaka the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine has paved the way for new research proving that aging is a reversible process. Currently just being tested on lab mice, will the cellular reprogramming soon offer eternal youth?

A discovery about cellular reprogramming could help reverse aging.

Yann Verdo

PARIS — Barbra Streisand loved her dog Samantha, aka Sammy. The white and fluffy purebred Coton of Tulear was even present on the steps of the Elysée Palace, the French President’s official residence, when Streisand received the Legion of Honor in 2007.

As the singer and actress explained inThe New York Times in 2018, she loved Sammy so much that, unable to bring herself to see her pass away, she had the dog cloned by a Texas firm for the modest sum of 50,000 dollars just before she died in 2017, at the age of 14. And that's how Barbra Streisand became the happy owner of Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet, two puppies who are the spitting image of the deceased Samantha.

This may sound like a joke, but there is one deeply disturbing fact that Harvard Medical School genetics professor David A. Sinclair points out in his book Why We Age – And Why We Don’t Have To. It is that the cloning of an old dog has led to two young puppies.

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