🦏 Save the rhinos!

Plus: a new job hunting tool from the AVMA

Hello 👋 

Welcome back to another edition of Weekend Rounds!

As you may know, the authors of this newsletter are big fans of both the NFL and music (especially Taylor Swift). So it should come as no surprise that we absolutely LOVE when she is shown on the broadcast of Kansas City Chiefs games.

If you happen to be watching the Chiefs take on the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game with a hater today, feel free to hit them with some animal facts:

Here’s what else we’ve got lined up:

🐛 2024: Rise of the cicadas
🦏 We’re saving the rhinos!
🔍️ AVMA’s new job hunting tool
🛒 NAVC pitch competition winner
🚀 Quick hits

And as always, we want to hear from you!
🗣️ Let us know how we did at the bottom of the email and feel free to provide feedback

The Year of the Cicada

Well, it looks like we’re in for a treat this year. And by treat we mean thousands of cicadas simultaneously taking over North America.

And no, this is not a reference to season 2 of Slow Horses on Apple TV+. Which is a niche reference, but if you understood it then you appreciated it 🙃 

Ok, so here’s the situation:

  • There are two types of species of cicada in North America - one that lives 13 years and one that lives 17 years

  • Cicadas spend most of their life underground, until their final trip around the sun when they emerge to the surface, shed their exoskeleton, and ultimately die

  • Since 13 and 17 are prime numbers, the ceremonial emergence very rarely overlaps with one another (once every 221 years to be exact)

  • The next time this will happen is… yep… 2024

So if you are annoyed by cicadas screeching in the summer or the sheer number of their exoskeletons lying around, I don’t know what to tell you other than get ready…

Hat tip to @fryrsquared on Instagram who broke it down for us nicely:

We’re saving the rhinos!

Ready for come good news?

There are only two remaining northern white rhinoceros remaining - Najin and her daughter Fatu - who live under 24 hour surveillance in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. With no living male, the subspecies of rhino is functionally extinct and critically endangered. Which is actually terrible news and we promised you good news so here it is:

We’re one step closer to saving the white rhinoceros population!

Scientists in Berlin at the BioRescue project successfully impregnated a southern white rhino (a close cousin of the northern subspecies) via in vitro fertilization (IVF). While we may be familiar with IVF in humans, horses, and cows, this is the first time is has been successfully used in rhinos.

Although the calf was never born, this successful IVF experiment in a southern white rhino is the proof of concept needed to begin breeding the northern white rhino again. Scientists at BioRescue believe they can produce northern white rhino calves in the next 2.5 years.

By the way, this is not the first time IVF has been explored as a tool to support population growth or bring a species back from the brink of extinction:

  • In 2022, scientists at the University of Queensland developed an IVF treatment that could save endangered donkey species

  • A Puerto Rican crested toad was the first amphibian to be hatched as a result of IVF used with frozen sperm.

  • A plan to save Koala’s from extinction by 2050 includes biobanking

Shout out to Morning Brew who covered this story this week, and also happens to be a big inspiration for Weekend Rounds

New job, who dis

Screenshot of AVMA JobFIT

This week the AVMA launched a new tool for job seekers, and one that will be especially useful for those willing to relocate. AVMAJobFIT is an interactive map that overlays open job applications (including locums, externships, part-time work and more) with median household income, cost of living, housing costs, and monthly rent costs.

Inventory Ally Wins VMX Pitch Competition

Last week at VMX, Inventory Ally, a software solution for managing clinic inventory won the 7th Annual VMX Pet Pitch Competition. The team did the unthinkable in 2024… they defeated the darling of the tech world, Artificial Intelligence. Or as us millennials may call it, the Hansel of technology, because it’s so hot right now.

AI, the Hansel of technology, is so hot right now. Which makes sense because the files are in the computer.

Inventory Ally beat out the other finalists Radimal, an AI based x-ray interpretation system and Scribenote, an AI powered scribe, converting exam room conversations into a SOAP note.

Inventory Ally won $5,000 as well as membership to Purina’s Pet Care Innovation Network. According to Inventory Ally, their computer- or mobile-based program has clinics reporting a 73% reduction in stockouts, two fewer days per week placing orders, and 1.7 hours less managing stock. Inventory Ally was selected because “there’s a strong market for it, and there is a great economic and time savings for the clinic.”

Congratulations to all three companies on their opportunity and their technological advancements in the field.

Quick Hits

Here are some of the other stories that caught out eye and we're following this week from around the veterinary world and animal kingdom:

'Technical glitch' causes veterinary licensing exam mix-up [VIN]

The veterinary profession and its impact on climate change [DVM360]

Pet Dragons Linked to Rare Salmonella Strain in U.S. and Canada [New York Times]

Dogs in the middle ages: what medieval writing tells us about our ancestors’ pets [The Conversation]

Vaccine hesitancy gives some US dog, cat owners cold feet [AVMA]

AVMA’s free mentorship program expands [AVMA]

State of Pet Homelessness Project reveals 1 in 3 pets are in need of a home [Mars]

Globe Buddy debuts sustainable, insect-based dog food [Pet Food Processing]

McCabe to step down as CEO of AAVMC [AVMA]

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