There's a controversy swirling right now around a photo of a monkey.
But it's not just any old monkey photo — it's a photo taken by a monkey. Photographer David Slater went on a photography trip to Indonesia, looking to get the perfect monkey photo. And he came back with an amazing photo, essentially a monkey selfie. But here's the problem: he provided the cameras, but the crested black macaque female grabbed the camera and took her own picture.
Now enter Wikipedia, the community edited online encyclopedia of all things. The site's editors uploaded the photo and declared the photo to be in the public domain because, under US law, animals can't own copyrights in works they claim. But Slater says the photo only exists becauseof his creativity and his equipment. Now the two sides are poised for a legal showdown. New York magazine and Buzzfeed look at the argument that's playing out.
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Why have only Americans gotten an experimental Ebola vaccine?
The World Health Organization has agreed to hold a special meaning to consider the bioethics behind the use of experimental Ebola vaccines, in particular the ZMapp vaccine that has shown incredible promise in bringing two gravely ill American healthcare workers back from the brink. The circumstances around how they got the vaccine, apparently without consulting the health regulators in Liberia, where they were being treated, has also raised questions.
The Los Angeles Times looks at some of the financial and ethical concerns that underlie decisions about when to release exprimental treatments to the gravely ill. The WHO, though, has already recommended that the experimental serum not be released until it's gone through scientific clinical trials.
This lab can help you solve your engangered species crimes
At a small lab in rural Oregon, officials from the US Fish and Wildlife Service are trying to identify where in the world poached Elephant tusks came from. And they're trying to determine if a sample of a tropical hardwood comes from an endangered or protected plant, or something more mundane. This lab in Ashland, Oregon, is the only one of its kind anywhere in the world. And it's on the front lines of fighting all manners of crimes against animals and plants around the world.
PRI's The World visited the lab to learn more about the critical work it does preventing poachers and smugglers from bringing their wares into the US, but also in supporting investigators all over the world who are on the front lines of fighting crimes against the environment. One of their tools? An incredible library of refence samples that help investigators determine if something is protected, or not. Don't miss those photos.
An Arab American Congressman draws a line
Rep. Justin Amash won a bittery contested primary election Tuesday night, advancing to November's general election. Amash is Arab American, which figured prominently in what outside analysts described as the "nastiest" election race of the season anywhere in the US. In one campaign ad, Amash's opponent, Brian Ellis, labeled Amash "al-Qaeda's best friend in Congress" — inciendiary comments anytime, but especially when referring to a second-generation Arab American.
Well, when Amash won his election Tuesday night, he decided to set the record straight. The Washington Post has a video of his own comments, where he blasted Ellis and his allies for the tenor of the campaign they ran. "You owe my family and this community an apology for your disgusting, despicable smear campaign."
Do we need tighter restrictions on antibiotics in livestock, for our own safety?
There's been an effort for years to restrict when antibiotics can be used on livestock. For years, farmers and ranchers have used them not just to treat illnesses, but also to prevent sickness and even to promote growth. Critics say that's leading to antibiotic resistant diseases, a huge threat to human health. So they filed a lawsuit.
A court ruled that the FDA needed to step in and regulate the practice, but some scientists and experts say the tie between antibiotic use in farm animals and antibiotic resistance is tenuous at best. So, when the FDA appealed, it won. Now it's embarking on a voluntary regulatory process. But that has critics still crying foul. PRI's Living on Earth takes a look at the issue.
What we're seeing on social
— Angilee Shah (@angshah) August 6, 2014
Weather around the world
The rain-soaked Balkans are getting more rain — and that's leading to more flooding, especially in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. At least one person has died, according to Yahoo, after flood swept through an area that had already been devastated by record-breaking floods back in May. The rain started Tuesday and isn't forecasted to stop until Thursday.