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Tag: animals

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...
Earth's earliest animals were strange frond-like sea creatures from the Ediacaran period

Earth's earliest animals were strange frond-like sea creatures from the Ediacaran period

Science
Aug. 20 (UPI) -- New fossil analysis suggests the planet's earliest known animals emerged at least 571 million years ago. The new study -- published this month in the journal Paleontology -- proves members of the Ediacaran biota are indeed animals and were diversifying for several million years before the acceleration of speciation known as the Cambrian explosion. Scientists recovered the first Stromatoveris psygmoglena fossil in the mid-20th century. The frond-like sea creature baffled paleontologists for decades. Stromatoveris psygmoglena hails from the Cambrian period, but dozens of similar blob-like fossil imprints have been found among older strata -- rocks from the Ediacaran period, which lasted from 635 to 542 million years ago. Until now, scientists have struggled to understand t...
Inbred animals struggle to adapt to environmental changes

Inbred animals struggle to adapt to environmental changes

Science
June 29 (UPI) -- Inbreeding makes animals more vulnerable to environmental changes, new research shows. When scientists inbred beetles, they found the insects made poorer decisions as environmental factors changed. In the lab, researchers observed the behavior of dozens of female burying beetles as they reared their young on the carcass of a dead mouse. In the middle of the experiment, scientists altered the beetles' food source, swapping out the first mouse carcass for a second smaller mouse carcass. Beetles that were inbred failed to adapt, raising too many young despite the smaller food source. The control group, non-inbred beetles, culled portions of their larvae clutch, as the beetles do in the wild, ensuring all of their young are sufficiently fed. The offspring of inbred beetles w...