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Comparison of primate brains hints at what makes us human

Thu, 23 Nov 17 00:10:40 -0800

A detailed comparative analysis of human, chimpanzee and macaque brains reveals elements that make the human brain unique, including cortical circuits underlying production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.



Small but distinct differences among species mark evolution of human brain

Thu, 23 Nov 17 00:10:10 -0800

The most dramatic divergence between humans and other primates can be found in the brain, the primary organ that gives our species its identity. However, all regions of the human brain have molecular signatures very similar to those of our primate relatives, yet some regions contain distinctly human patterns of gene activity that mark the brain's evolution and may contribute to our cognitive abilities, a new Yale-led study has found.



These ring-tailed lemurs raise a 'stink' when they flirt with potential mates

Fri, 17 Nov 17 00:12:30 -0800

Stink-flirting among ring-tailed lemurs come at a cost, but may also influence females in choosing a mate.



Chimp study reveals how brain's structure shaped our evolution

Wed, 15 Nov 17 00:04:50 -0800

Chimpanzee brains may be more different from those of humans than was previously thought, according to new research that sheds light on our evolution.



Exploring the neural mechanisms behind social decision-making, cooperation, and aggression

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:11:20 -0800

Humans, primates, and many other animals are innately social, spending much of their lifetimes in the presence of other individuals, but little is known about the neural mechanisms that generate social behaviors. Recent advances offer insight into neural circuits and mechanisms that underlie social decision-making, cooperation, and aggression.



How bacteria in the gut influence neurodegenerative disorders

Mon, 13 Nov 17 00:06:40 -0800

Humans have roughly as many bacterial cells in their bodies as human cells, and most of those bacteria live in the gut. New research released today reveals links between the gut microbiome -- the population of microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract -- and brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, including potential new ways to track and treat these diseases.



Finger and toe fossils belonged to tiny primates 45 million years ago

Thu, 09 Nov 17 00:14:20 -0800

A new study identifies nearly 500 minuscule finger and toe bones as belonging to 45-million-year-old tiny primates. Many of the fossils are so small they rival the diminutive size of a mustard seed. Representing nine different taxonomic families of primates and as many as 25 species, the specimens from China include numerous fossils attributed to Eosimias, the very first anthropoid known to date, and three fossils attributed to a new and more advanced anthropoid.



How human cognition can affect the spreading of diseases like Ebola

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:03:00 -0800

Psychologists from the University of Sydney and Texas Tech have applied science to health communication and found that the way the message is conveyed can have a significant impact on awareness about diseases, like Ebola, that jump from animals to people. The researchers found that the more animals that are known to carry a virus, the more people will perceive a risk from any animal.



The key to a nut

Wed, 08 Nov 17 00:02:50 -0800

Cognitive biologists from the University of Vienna and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna tested Goffin cockatoos in a tool use task, requiring the birds to move objects in relation to a surface. The parrots were not only able to select the correct key but also required fewer placement attempts to align simple shapes than primates in a similar study.



Promising new drug for Hep B tested at Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:02:20 -0800

Research at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) on the campus of Texas Biomedical Research Institute helped advance a new treatment now in human trials for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.



Mammals switched to daytime activity after dinosaur extinction

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:09:50 -0800

Mammals only started being active in the daytime after non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out about 66 million years ago (mya), finds a new study led by UCL and Tel Aviv University's Steinhardt Museum of Natural History.



Chimpanzees shown spontaneously 'taking turns' to solve number puzzle

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:16:10 -0700

A new study from Kyoto and Oxford universities and Indianapolis Zoo has shown chimpanzees spontaneously taking turns to complete a number sequencing task.



Scientists trace the stem cells that repopulate bone marrow after transplantation

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:05:50 -0700

Scientists have finally tracked down the precise subset of blood-forming (also known as hematopoietic) stem cells, or HSCs, that are capable of fully repopulating the bone marrow after transplantation in nonhuman primates.



Subset of stem cells identified as source for all cells in blood and immune systems

Wed, 01 Nov 17 00:05:20 -0700

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have identified a specific subset of adult blood stem cells that is exclusively responsible for repopulating the entire blood and immune system after a transplant. The discovery, to be published Nov. 1 in Science Translational Medicine, has the potential to revolutionize blood stem cell transplantation as well as the delivery and targeting of cell and gene therapies that use healthy versions of the self-renewing stem cells to replace ones that are diseased.



Lemurs are weird because Madagascar's fruit is weird

Tue, 31 Oct 17 00:11:30 -0700

Lemurs eat way less fruit than most other primates, and scientists have a new hypothesis as to why: the fruit on Madagascar, where the lemurs live, is unusually low in protein. Scientists posit that the evolution of unusual dietary behaviors in lemurs, from leaf-eating to hibernating, is tied to fruit quality.



Emotional states discovered in fish

Fri, 27 Oct 17 00:04:00 -0700

A research team led by Rui Oliveira, researcher at ISPA-Instituto Universitario, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia and Champalimaud Research, discovered emotional states in fish.



Why arched backs are attractive

Wed, 25 Oct 17 00:13:50 -0700

Researchers have provided scientific evidence for what lap dancers and those who twerk probably have known all along -- men are captivated by the arched back of a woman. A team led by Farid Pazhoohi of the University of Minho in Portugal used 3-D models and eye-tracking technology to show how the subsequent slight thrusting out of a woman's hips can hold a man's gaze. The findings are published in Springer's journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.



Scientists pinpoint jealousy in the monogamous mind

Thu, 19 Oct 17 00:05:10 -0700

Scientists find that in male titi monkeys, jealousy is associated with heightened activity in the cingulate cortex, an area of the brain associated with social pain in humans, and the lateral septum, associated with pair bond formation in primates. A better understanding of jealousy may provide important clues on how to approach health and welfare problems such as addiction and domestic violence, as well as autism.



Dogs are more expressive when someone is looking

Thu, 19 Oct 17 00:06:20 -0700

Dogs produce more facial expressions when humans are looking at them, according to new research from the University of Portsmouth.



Itsy bitsy spider: Fear of spiders and snakes is deeply embedded in us

Thu, 19 Oct 17 00:11:10 -0700

Snakes and spiders evoke fear and disgust in many people, even in developed countries where hardly anybody comes into contact with them. Until now, there has been debate about whether this aversion is innate or learnt. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have recently discovered that it is hereditary: Even babies feel stressed when seeing these creatures - long before they could have learnt this reaction.



Duplications of noncoding DNA may have affected evolution of human-specific traits

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:04:20 -0700

Duplications of large segments of noncoding DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to results presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect on traits and behavior may help scientists explain genetic contributions to human disease.



New obesity treatment lowers body weight in mice, rats and primates

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:13:10 -0700

Researchers have created engineered proteins that lowered body weight, bloodstream insulin, and cholesterol levels in obese mice, rats, and primates.



Amazonian hunters deplete wildlife but don't empty forests

Tue, 17 Oct 17 00:12:40 -0700

Conservationists can be 'cautiously optimistic' about the prospect of sustainable subsistence hunting by Amazonian communities -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UK). The research team spent over a year working with 60 Amazonian communities and hiked for miles through trackless forests to deploy nearly 400 motion-activated camera traps -- in a bid to understand which species are depleted by hunting and where.



Whales and dolphins have rich 'human-like' cultures and societies
Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects -- much like human societies. A major new study, published today in Nature Ecology