Archive | Animal Kingdom


La Niña cooking up mutated viruses?

The La Niña weather pattern is altering the migratory patterns of birds and possibly triggering the development of dangerous new strains of influenza, say Columbia University researchers in the journal PNAS. The authors of the new study say their work-in-progress examines the combined effects of influenza genetics, avian migration patterns and climate data. The study […]

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Monkeys feel the love on oxytocin

Duke University researchers evaluating the effectiveness of oxytocin – the “love” hormone – in treating autism and schizophrenia say that their experiments with monkeys indicate that oxytocin enhances social interaction and increases trust. Duke neuroscientist Michael Platt says that administering the hormone through a nebulizer can make rhesus macaques pay more attention to each other […]

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Earthquakes and animal behavior: it’s in the water

For hundreds of years people have been reporting unusual animal behavior prior to earthquakes. Now, scientists say that it may be caused by rock deformations in the Earth’s crust which release charged particles that then react with groundwater. The findings, by an international team of researchers led by Friedemann Freund from NASA, appear in the […]

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Rats that ♥ cats: parasite rewires sexual attraction

Stanford University scientists have discovered that the complex and intriguing reproductive strategy exhibited by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii relies on altering the rodent brain to interpret cat odors as sexually attractive. The new findings fill a gap in existing knowledge about a most peculiar parasite that one scientist believes could also be subtly rewiring […]

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The secret lives of cats

Cats are secretive creatures and their nocturnal adventures are largely a mystery, but a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois shows that even domestic cats roam over surprisingly large areas. The two-year study used radio telemetry and an activity-tracking device to capture the habits of dozens of owned and un-owned cats living […]

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