Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 6th 2014 Contents An Irish farmer who claims to
have bred a cross between a sheep
and a goat is launching a charity
competition to find a name for
the rare creature.
Paddy Murphy, who also runs
a village pub in Ballymore Eustace,
County Kildare, in the UK, has
been overwhelmed by the interest
after a YouTube video of his new
arrival went viral.
The hybrid---sometimes referred
to as a geep or a shoat---is believed
to be extremely unusual.
Murphy said he delivered the
animal late at night, and it was
only the next morning that he
realised it was a bit different.
"I only have white-faced
Cheviot sheep, and when this one
came out it was black," he said.
"That sometimes happens. But
the next morning I said to myself
this isn t a lamb at all, it s more
like a goat.
"It was moving a bit too quickly
for a lamb, its legs were very long
and he even has horns like a goat."
Murphy said he had noticed a
goat mating with his sheep on the
mountainside but assumed nothing
would come of it.
The newborn has been the talk
of the village pub.
A video by the Irish Farmers
Journal posted on YouTube has
reached more than 16,000 hits.
Murphy said he was hoping to
raise money for a sick child in the
village with a competition for the
best name for his young geep.
And he has invited scientists to
come to his farm to prove the rare
"I have no interest in that side
of it at all, but if someone wants
to come and do tests they are wel-
come," he said.
Similar crossings have been
reported before in Chile, Jamaica,
Malta and Botswana, where sci-
entists found that a hybrid---known
as the Toast of Botswana---had 57
chromosomes, a number in
between that of sheep and goats.
In most cases the offspring are
stillborn. (UK Guardian)
Irish farmer claims
to have bred
The geep with its mother on Paddy Murphy's farm in Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare.
PHOTO: NIALL CARSON/PA
BARRE---State officials fighting a
well-publicised battle against heroin
and prescription drug abuse are
revolting against a powerful new
painkiller that law enforcement and
public health officials fear could
worsen an already acute drug prob-
Last Thursday, Vermont Gov Peter
Shumlin announced an emergency
order that would make it harder for
physicians to prescribe a new class of
drugs that includes Zohydro.
Many feel the extended-release pill
is prone to abuse, because it s not
tamper resistant and contains up to
five times more of the narcotic
hydrocodone than previously available
in other pills.
The Food and Drug Administration
approved the drug last fall and it hit
the market last month.
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest
growing drug problem in the US with
more than 4.5 million Americans
abusing pain relievers, according to a
2013 Drug Enforcement Administra-
Law enforcement and public health
officials say for many people, pre-
scription painkiller abuse can pave
the way to heroin addiction. In Jan-
uary, Shumlin devoted the bulk of his
State of the State address to Vermont s
"full blown heroin crisis."
Shumlin didn t go as far as Mas-
sachusetts Gov Deval Patrick, who
last week ordered an outright ban on
prescribing and dispensing Zohydro
until it is marketed in a form that is
difficult to abuse. But Shumlin and
Vermont Health Commissioner Dr
Harry Chen both questioned the FDA
"It s not like we don t have
painkillers in America," Shumlin said.
"So you know, we re just saying Hey,
we understand we don t control the
FDA, but we do have some influence
in Vermont, " he said.
The backlash against Zohydro has
been growing since last year, when
the FDA approved the drug against
the recommendation of an internal
Late last year, 28 state attorneys
general signed a letter asking the FDA
to revoke the drug s approval or require
the manufacturer to reformulate the
drug so it is more difficult for abusers
to crush for snorting or injection.
US Sen Joe Manchin and Rep
Stephen Lynch introduced legislation
that would compel the FDA to with-
draw the drug.
Zohydro belongs to a family of med-
icines known as opiates or opioids.
Others include morphine, heroin and
oxycodone, the painkiller in OxyCon-
tin.Its painkilling power comes from
hydrocodone. Other medications, such
as Vicodin, contain the same narcotic
but also include acetaminophen, the
active ingredient in Tylenol.
San Diego-based Zogenix, which
makes Zohydro, said the drug is no
more potent, per milligramme, than
other hydrocodone medications.
The company also said it set up a
board of experts to guard against abuse
and that its sales representatives are
not being paid based on the volume,
but rather on their efforts to ensure
prescribers, pharmacists and patients
understand the medication s risks and
States revolt against
powerful new painkiller
In this January 22 file photo, Mass Gov
Deval Patrick gestures during a news
conference at the Statehouse in
Boston. AP PHOTO
A new study of gamma-ray light
from the centre of our galaxy
makes the strongest case to date
that some of this emission may
arise from dark matter, an
unknown substance making up
most of the material universe.
Using publicly available data from
NASA s Fermi Gamma-ray Space
Telescope, independent scientists
at the Fermi National Accelerator
Laboratory (Fermilab), the Har-
vard-Smithsonian Center for
Astrophysics (CfA), the Massachu-
setts Institute of Technology (MIT)
and the University of Chicago have
developed new maps showing that
the galactic centre produces more
high-energy gamma rays than can
be explained by known sources;
and that this excess emission is
consistent with some forms of dark
"The new maps allow us to
analyse the excess and test whether
more conventional explanations,
such as the presence of undiscov-
ered pulsars or cosmic-ray collisions
on gas clouds, can account for it,"
said Dan Hooper, an astrophysicist
at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, and
a lead author of the study.
"The signal we find cannot be
explained by currently proposed
alternatives and is in close agree-
ment with the predictions of very
simple dark matter models."
The galactic centre teems with
gamma-ray sources, from inter-
acting binary systems and isolated
pulsars to supernova remnants and
particles colliding with interstellar
It s also where astronomers
expect to find the galaxy s highest
density of dark matter, which only
affects normal matter and radiation
through its gravity.
Large amounts of dark matter
attract normal matter, forming a
foundation upon which visible
structures, like galaxies, are built.
No one knows the true nature
of dark matter, but WIMPs, or
Weakly Interacting Massive Parti-
cles, represent a leading class of
Theorists have envisioned a wide
range of WIMP types, some of
which may either mutually anni-
hilate or produce an intermediate,
quickly decaying particle when they
Both of these pathways end with
the production of gamma rays---
the most energetic form of light---
at energies within the detection
range of Fermi s Large Area Tele-
"This study is an example of
innovative techniques applied to
Fermi data by the science commu-
nity," said Peter Michelson, a pro-
fessor of physics at Stanford Uni-
versity in California and the LAT
For the past four years, the LAT
team has been searching dwarf
galaxies for hints of dark matter.
Gamma rays from centre of Milky Way
New clues to dark matter:
April 6, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
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