Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Research News: Encounters with Animal Minds

The News: Smuts was following a small group of Gombe baboons on the eastern edge of Kenya. She'd been with them seven days a week for weeks and weeks, joining them before dawn, spending 10 hours a day just following, watching and taking notes. One day, she says, the whole noisy group was ambling back to its "sleeping trees" (baboons sleep off the ground, up on the limbs of trees or cliffs to keep away from predators) along the shore of a stream. "I followed them walking along this stream many, many times before and many times after," she says, "but this time was different." More of the NPR story, by Robert Krulwich.

The Research:
Read the article and more encounters from an animal researcher behind this story in the Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 8, Numbers 5-7, 2001 , pp. 293-309(17).

Research News: One Dose May Be Enough

The News: Study shows one dose of H1N1 vaccine may be enough for children...
Australian researchers find that more than 90% of those in study had effective immunity after a single dose, but the 15-microgram dose of antigen is twice that used in the United States. Australian researchers have shown that a single dose of vaccine against pandemic H1N1 influenza can provide effective immunity against the swine flu virus in infants and children, a finding that, if corroborated, could help damp the spread of the virus by reducing the logistical complications associated with the currently recommended regimen of two doses. (Read more)

The Research:
Read the research behind this story in JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Return of Research Behind the News!

The News: Biologists studying the habits of veined octopuses in the waters of Indonesia have noticed that the animal has a most unusual hobby: collecting discarded coconut shells and using them for shelter. Beyond the fact that it’s hilarious to watch the octopuses slithering across the ocean floor dragging halved coconut shells and even assembling two of them to make a creative hiding spot..., it also could be the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal... (read more)

The Research:
Read the research behind this story in Current Biology