Related topics: china · endangered species

Why are giant pandas born so tiny?

Born pink, blind, and helpless, giant pandas typically weigh about 100 grams at birth—the equivalent of a stick of butter. Their mothers are 900 times more massive than that.

Panda Bei Bei says bye bye to US, heads 'home' to China

The US-born giant panda Bei Bei on Tuesday left the only home he has known at the National Zoo in Washington for a 16-hour flight back to China as part of its research and breeding program.

Thailand's sex-shy giant panda dies aged 19

A beloved male giant panda on loan to Thailand from China has died aged 19 in Chiang Mai, leaving Thais on Tuesday to mourn the death of a mammal whose sex life captivated the kingdom.

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PANDAS

PANDAS is an abbreviation for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections. This diagnosis is used to describe a set of children who have a rapid onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders such as Tourette syndrome (TS), following group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS) infections such as "strep throat" and scarlet fever. The proposed link between infection and these disorders is an autoimmune reaction, where antibodies produced by the infection interfere with neuronal cells.

This diagnosis is controversial and its usefulness is disputed by some scientists who think this sub-set of patients do not differ significantly from the remainder of the patient population, and that infections do not increase the risk of OCD or tics. Consequently, the PANDAS model is a complex and rapidly-moving area of medical research, with a 2009 review stating that the link between streptococcal infections and tic disorders has remained unclear, despite a great deal of work in the area. PANDAS is currently not listed as a diagnosis by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

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