Archive for July, 2012

Bottlenose dolphins that have learnt to use sea sponges as hunting tools form cliques with others that do the same — the first evidence of animal grouping based on mutual interest, a study said Tuesday.

via Dolphins sponge up culture: study.


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From an evolutionary perspective, a central nervous system has two main functional aims:

1) avoiding damage (where the sensation of pain and learning from those negative experiences is central)

2) seeking pleasure (shelter, food, sex etc.).

So I really don’t undestand why some scientists still question whether or not some animals feel pain. It’s ridiculous. How did they become scientists to begin with if they are missing this fundamental understanding?

via Can slugs and snails feel pain? – The Naked Scientists June 2012.

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A fascinating study. It shows that members (both male and female) of a chimp society pick up on the male members’ yawns much more than on the yawns of females in the group. Chimps are patriarchal to the extreme, so this, of course, makes sense. With male dominance for approximately 2 million years, it seems a self-imposed evolutionary twist has occurred within this species. I would guess yawning is just the tip of the iceberg. I think there are many implications inherent to this confirmation.

It is always interesting to see studies come forth which emphasize specific points which may seem readily apparent to many.

via Chimps catch yawns from dominant males – life – 25 July 2012 – New Scientist.

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Our understanding of the varieties of sentience continues to expand.

via Tel Aviv University researcher says plants can see, smell, feel, and taste.

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“Cells that fire together, wire together.”


via Hebbian theory – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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A pretty significant finding. Researchers at John Hopkins University turned pain off without affecting other function.

via Newly Discovered Scaffold Supports Turning Pain Off – 07/25/2012.

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Get ready. Here comes authentic, and somewhat simple, mind control. Really.

For the first time, scientists have been able to affect the behavior of a primate using optogenetics—a technique by which genetically modified neurons are made to fire with light.

via Scientists Control Monkeys’ Brains with Light – Technology Review.

via Scientists Control Monkeys’ Brains with Light – Technology Review.

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