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Tag: cultures

Social networks explain why independent cultures interpret the world in similar ways

Social networks explain why independent cultures interpret the world in similar ways

Science
Jan. 13 (UPI) -- How can cultures that developed on opposite sides of the world come to similar understandings about colors, shapes, familial relationships and other categorical systems? The traditional explanation for this cross-cultural continuity is that humans are born with categories wired into their brains. Advertisement Researchers with the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, however, have an alternative explanation. It's not the human brain, exactly, that yields categorical consensus across disparate groups, researchers contend in a new paper, published in the journal Nature Communications, but the dynamics of consensus building among large groups of people. The phenomenon of "category convergence" has long been recognized by archaeologists in th...
DNA helps researchers understand interactions between Stone Age cultures

DNA helps researchers understand interactions between Stone Age cultures

Science
June 5 (UPI) -- Scandinavia was once home to a trio of Stone Age cultures: Funnel Beaker culture, Pitted Ware culture and Battle Axe culture. New research suggests the groups engaged in trade and influenced the cultural practices of others, but never mixed. Funnel Beaker culture featured Scandinavia's earliest farmers. Pitted Ware culture practiced mostly hunting and fishing. Battle Axe culture was characterized by a mix of herding and farming. Advertisement During excavations of a Pitted Ware burial site, researches noted several graves appeared influenced by Battle Axe culture. In Pitted Ware graves, the dead are usually found lying on their backs with hunting tools or bones. "In addition to the typical Pitted Ware graves, there were also several atypical graves with apparent influences...
Music, songs from diverse cultures feature universal commonalities

Music, songs from diverse cultures feature universal commonalities

Science
Nov. 22 (UPI) -- New research suggests music really is a universal language. The search for universality has previously been dismissed by ethnomusicologists. In the 1970s, during a lecture at Harvard, the famed composer called "universality" a "big word, and a dangerous one." But new analysis suggests universality can be found in song, as music produced by different cultures features similar aural elements -- enough that the moods, meanings and purposes of songs from one culture can be understood by listeners from another. For the new study, reviewed this week in the journal Science, scientists classified the functions of songs from different cultures across the globe. Some songs, scientists determined, accompany a dance, while others work to calm an infant or express love. Scientists d...
New drug thwarts Zika, dengue, West Nile in cell cultures

New drug thwarts Zika, dengue, West Nile in cell cultures

Health
Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Lab tests prove a new drug called NGI-1 is capable of shutting down flaviviruses, the family that includes mosquito-borne viruses like Zika, dengue and West Nile.The new drug works by cutting off access to key proteins in mammalian cells that invading viruses rely on. By robbing them of their energy sources, researchers say, the drug thwarts invasion.Remarkably, the technique lends NGI-1 potency against not one, but an entire family of viruses. Researchers detailed the drug's promise in a new paper published this week in the journal Cell Reports."Generally, when you develop a drug against a specific protein in dengue virus, for instance, it won't work for yellow fever or Zika, and you have to develop new antivirals for each," senior study author Jan Carette, an assistant p...
Whales, dolphins form 'human-like' societies and cultures, scientists say

Whales, dolphins form 'human-like' societies and cultures, scientists say

Science
Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Whale and dolphin societies are rich, complex and remarkably "human-like," scientists argue in a new paper published this week in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.As detailed in the new paper, the social lives of whales and dolphins check many of the same boxes that make human societies so unique. They live among family and friends in closely knit groups. They form complex relationships across their social groups. They talk to each other and develop and even develop regional dialects."As humans, our ability to socially interact and cultivate relationships has allowed us to colonize almost every ecosystem and environment on the planet," Susanne Shultz, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Manchester in England, said in a news release. "We know whales and...