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Tag: animals

AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

AP Exclusive: WHO report says animals likely source of COVID

Technology
BEIJING -- A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.The findings offer little new insight into how the virus began to spread around the globe and many questions remain unanswered, though that was as expected. But the report did provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers' conclusions. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis.The report’s release has been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew the conclusions to prevent blame for the pandemic falling on China. A World Hea...
To keep backyard animals safe from cats, offer more meat and play

To keep backyard animals safe from cats, offer more meat and play

Science
Feb. 11 (UPI) -- All grains and no play makes Garfield a hangry boy -- and it turns out, hangry cats are a greater threat to local wildlife. To keep small birds, mammals and reptiles safe from local cats, new research suggests caretakers offer their feline friends a diet rich in meat proteins and plenty of playtime. Advertisement According to the new study, published Thursday in the journal Current Biology, play that mimics the act of hunting is especially helpful in quieting the predatory instincts of domestic cats. "While keeping cats indoors is the only sure-fire way to prevent hunting, some owners are worried about the welfare implications of restricting their cat's outdoor access," study co-author Robbie McDonald said in a news release. "Our study shows that -- using entirely non-in...
Bacteria have internal clocks just like animals and plants, scientists say

Bacteria have internal clocks just like animals and plants, scientists say

Science
Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Biological clocks aren't exclusive to multicellular organisms -- new research suggests bacteria can tell time, too. Internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, help humans, animals and plants keep time, synching various biological processes with day-night changes, as well as seasonal shifts. Advertisement In humans and other animals, the biological clocks ticking inside cells help govern sleep cycles and dictate a variety of cognitive functions. In plants, circadian rhythms control water retention and photosynthesis. Scientists have previously observed circadian rhythms in photosynthetic bacteria, but never before in free-living, non-photosynthetic bacteria -- until now. As reported Friday in the journal Science Advances, researchers identified active circadian rhythms in Baci...
Fossils purported to be world’s earliest animals revealed as algae

Fossils purported to be world’s earliest animals revealed as algae

Science
Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Fossils previously heralded as the earliest evidence of animal life have been revealed to be algae. The reinterpretation, announced Monday in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, will force scientists to reconsider early animal evolution. "It brings the oldest evidence for animals nearly 100 million years closer to the present day," study co-author Lennart van Maldegem said in a news release. Advertisement "We were able to demonstrate that certain molecules from common algae can be altered by geological processes -- leading to molecules which are indistinguishable from those produced by sponge-like animals," said van Maldegem, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian National University. The new research reverses the trend of fresh discoveries pushing the eme...
Ancient Egypt: Mummified animals ‘digitally unwrapped’ in 3D scans

Ancient Egypt: Mummified animals ‘digitally unwrapped’ in 3D scans

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Three mummified animals from ancient Egypt have been digitally unwrapped and dissected by researchers using high-resolution 3D scans. The snake, bird and cat, from the Egypt Centre's collection at Swansea University, are at least 2,000 years old. Ancient texts suggest they were offerings to the souls of the departed, but little was known of their fate. Researchers said the details revealed by the scans were "extraordinary". Using micro CT scanners, which generate 3D images with 100 times the resolution of medical CT scans, the animals' remains were analysed in previously unseen detail, giving an insight into how they were killed and the ritual behind it. ...