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Tag: animals

Once-a-month birth control pill? Experiment works in animals

Health
Scientists are developing a once-a-month birth control pill that would gradually release the drug over the course of weeksBy LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical WriterDecember 4, 2019, 10:06 PM4 min read Birth control pills work great if women remember to take them every day but missing doses can mean a surprise pregnancy. Now scientists have figured out how to pack a month’s supply into one capsule. The trick: A tiny star-shaped gadget that unfolds in the stomach and gradually releases the drug. The experimental capsule is still years away from drugstores, but researchers reported Wednesday that it worked as designed in a key test in animals. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is investing $ 13 million for further development of the once-a-month pill, in hopes of eventually improving family p
Animal-like embryos came before animals

Animal-like embryos came before animals

Science
Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Before the earliest animals diverged from their single-celled ancestors and diversified into a few dozen anatomical shapes, primitive organisms began experimenting with animal-like embryos. New analysis of 609-million-year-old fossils recovered from China suggests animal-like embryological traits evolved before the emergence of the first animals. The fossils represent Caveasphaera, a multicellular species. Upon finding the remains preserved in rock formations in South China's Guizhou Province, scientists couldn't decide whether the species should be classified as animal or non-animal. Using X-ray microscopy, scientists were able to study the Caveasphaera fossils cell-by-cell. The different fossils revealed the organisms at various stages of development, some as single ce...
Migration can both promote, inhibit cooperation among animals

Migration can both promote, inhibit cooperation among animals

Science
Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Migration can help species thrive by generating the ideal spatial distribution for cooperation, according to a new mathematical model. Migration can also, however, inhibit cooperation, fueling a species' downfall. Felix Funk and Christoph Hauert, researchers at the University of British Columbia, developed a mathematical model to better understand the evolution of migration and cooperation. For most species to thrive, a baseline level of cooperation is necessary. Every organism, from humans to microbes, must work to maintain shared resources, like potable water and available nutrients. If too many individuals pursue selfish ends, the entire population can suffer. "The effect of collective movement is especially significant when triggered in response to the generation of p...
When two animals interact, their brains synchronize

When two animals interact, their brains synchronize

Science
June 21 (UPI) -- New research shows the brains of animal pairs synchronize when they socially interact. The breakthrough promises new insights into the intricacies of social relations among animals. Most of the research into the neural processes underpinning animal behavior have focused on specimens by themselves, but many animals spend most of their waking life interacting with other animals. To better understand how animal brains process social interactions and social hierarchies, scientists attached tiny microscopes to the heads of mice and observed their interactions. The tiny microscopes used calcium imaging to record the activity of hundreds of brain cells. Scientists observed the mice interacting freely on open terrain, as well as inside tubes. Tube interactions reveal social hier...
Study: Non-addictive painkiller is safe, effective in animals

Study: Non-addictive painkiller is safe, effective in animals

Health
Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Scientists have developed a safe and non-addictive painkiller as an alternative to current opioids, according to a study of animals. A new chemical compound called AT-121 suppressed the addictive effects of opioids but produced morphine-like analgesic effects in non-human primates. The research by scientists at the Wake Forest School of Medicine was published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine. "Misuse of prescription opioids, opioid addiction and overdose underscore the urgent need for developing addiction-free effective medications for treating severe pain," the researchers wrote in the study. The National Institute on Drug Abuse supported the research. "In our study, we found AT-121 to be safe and non-addictive, as well as an effective pain medica...