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The white coat of the Lipizzan Stallions performing at Vienna’s prestigious Spanish riding school is actually caused by a mutated gene.

White and grey horses, including Lipizzans, are born with a darker coat but lose their colour between the age of six and eight due to chromosomal mutations.  These genetic changes cause the pigment-producing melanocyte cells to be produced more rapidly in these horses so that the stock is quickly used up and the horses lose their pigmentation, much like how human hair turns grey or white. 

The study also found that the same chromosome was responsible for the horses’ heightened risk of melanoma, cancer of the pigment cells, mainly due to their poor colouring which does not protect them from the sun’s UV rays.  Around 75 percent of grey and white horses aged 15 or older develop the skin disease.Fortunately, the horses are not in too much trouble from the cancer, as the diseased cells do not multiply and spread as quickly as in humans.

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Sorry about the delay, but my internet was down, so I could not write.   Time for a rant. 

THE POLES ARE OUT OF UEFA EURO 2008!  ARRGH!!!

A Saddened Polish Fan

Coach Leo Beenhakker completely revitalized this team and what…they can’t even win a single game in their group.

They get a solid chance to beat Germany for the first time, but they mess that up.  Alright.  I wasn’t really expecting to win that one.

Then they play Austria, the worst team in the group.  First, they let in like 4 breakaways which were defended brilliantly by Artur Boruc.  If not for him, they would be out of the game.  Then they score a great goal and defend well.  Then the stupid English referee calls a penalty kick for a tiny tug of the shirt!  What!?  There is no way the ref should decide the final outcome of the game like that.  That was no penalty.  Every team has been doing stuff like that and you decide to call it now, just when the Poles are about to win!    

Finally, they need to beat Croatia to have any chance of going through.  And what do they do?  Nothing!  Boruc plays amazingly again, but there is no offense!  If you can’t tell already, I’m a bit peeved by the whole thing. 

I suppose there will always be next time.

 

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