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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Science Scene

Study finds that some animals feel regret

Animals have feelings too – or so a recent study at Duke University says.

The first study tested both chimpanzees and monkeys who traded tokens for cucumbers. The primates that noticed one of their peers was receiving a tastier treat in exchange for his tokens and reacted negatively.

“I think animals do experience regret, as defined as the recognition of a missed opportunity,said Dr. Sarah Brosnan, a psychologist at Georgia State University.In the wild, these abilities may help them to recognize when they should forage in different areas or find a different cooperative partner who will share the spoils more equitably.

A more recent study used data from brain scans of monkeys attempting to merit a cup of juice by guessing where researchers had hidden it. If the monkeysanswers were wrong, they were shown the correct hiding place. The monkeys then changed subsequent guesses, displaying what researchers called awould-have, could-have, should-havereaction.

(Source: nytimes.com)


More information on the origins of swine flu

There may soon be a vaccine against the dreaded H1N1 flu due to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Cambridge, UK.

The researchers analyzed 76 isolates of the virus from Mexico and the U.S. and found that the virus was actually first found in swine in 1930. The virus was extremely similar to a 1918 pandemic in humans.

The information eventually led researchers to discover that the virus outbreak in April had two genes from avian influenza, three from North American swine, and one from humans.

The small amount in variation makes the virus easier to develop a vaccine for, researchers said.

(Source: sciencemag.org)



Bacterial samples from human body reveal a range of microbe findings

Some of the dirtiest places in the world are right under our fingertips – as well as on our noses, ears and in our upper thighs.

Elizabeth Grice from the National Human Genome Research Institute surveyed 10 healthy volunteers, swabbing samples of skin from 20 different places on the body.

The study found that the inside and the crease beside the nose has the largest collection of microbes. She also found a large amount of bacteria the inguinal crease – the place where the leg meets the groin – and just inside the ear.

Other hot spots for bacteria were places both dry and moist, as opposed to oily. The largest diversity of bacteria is located on the forearm, where there are an average of 44 different species.

The findings may assist in studies regarding skin disorders that tend to be specific to areas of the body.

(Source: genome.cship.org)


LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org. 


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