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Barbary macaques recognise photos of their friends

Adult monkeys recognise photographs of their friends, according to scientists.

In an experiment, untrained Barbary macaques showed interest in the photos and spent more time scrutinising pictures of unfamiliar animals.

Juvenile monkeys were fascinated but puzzled by the photographs. They often tried to greet or touch the animal in the image.

The findings suggest that the primates learn with age to understand that photos are representations of faces.

(click on link above for full article)


This reminds me of the work done with primates on theory of mind, which used mirrors to see if they would recognise themselves in the reflection or if they would think it to be another individual. Interestingly, theory of mind develops in the human brain between 3 and 4 years of age... what this article doesn't make mention of is that this might be evidence of a similar development in macaques.
"For over 150 years the name Neanderthal has been household property.

And it has become associated with dim-witted, ape-like brutes that scurried across vast ice-covered wastes waiting for the day when our ancestors - the intelligent and modern humans - would wipe them from the face of the Earth.

Now, we have discovered the Denisovans and I wonder what image we will choose to give them.

But there are already hints that suggest that the status quo will prevail and we will find reasons for making these people a little bit less clever than our direct ancestors.

The irony is that the scientific community is going to have to come round to the acceptance that the Denisovans and the Neanderthals also belonged to the species which we call Homo sapiens."

Full BBC website article
20 July 2010 @ 05:40 am
Happy Lunar Landing Day!
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Stroke patient says Kenny Rogers helped brain recovery

Mike Pensom loves country and western music, particularly anything by Kenny Rogers.

He hates hip hop and rap.

But recently Mike found that his musical likes and dislikes also have a profound effect on his brain.

Twenty years ago Mike had a stroke which caused problems with the left-hand side of his body and left him missing things in part of his field of vision.

But when scientists played him his favourite tunes he has seen more - and when they played the stuff he did not like there was no change.

Read more...Collapse )


Slightly off-topic but, incidentally, there's also a website dedicated to men who look like Kenny Rogers :D
13 November 2009 @ 01:31 pm
KTVU [http://www.ktvu.com/news/21605721/detail.html]:

Just weeks after NASA's L-CROSS mission analyzed a plume of debris generated by the impact of a satellite into a crater on the moon's south pole, NASA scientists will announce that the findings suggest the presence of frozen water at the site of impact.

Via CNN [http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/space/11/13/water.moon.nasa/index.html]:

Anthony Colaprete said at the start of his comments to reporters, "Indeed, yes, we found water."

"The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon," NASA said in a written statement.

13 November 2009 @ 12:49 am
I will listen carefully to all your comments.

Abstract: Some inexplicable statistical variations in Nobel Prize laureates natal data are reported and discussed, and additional data is examined afterward. The observed strong correlation with Quaoar position (+5.69 standard deviations) is probably caused by correlation of Quaoar position with an unknown non-trivial solar, lunar or terrestrial cycle. It is well known that some space weather conditions influence human health, but the possibility of influence on long-term physiological and/or psychological characteristics since birth is still under question. If observed on other similar data, e.g. Wolf Prize laureates or Ramon Magsaysay awardees, the effect can be considered astroanthropological. Otherwise this study will help to better understand the reasons of astrological and similar beliefs, and to prevent circulation of such anti-scientific beliefs in future.

Comments: All databases and the source code are included.
I know that the majority of physicists and astronomers would say that these data don't make sense and therefore can't be correct. Though other examples of inexplicable data are well known, e.g. Pioneer anomaly, the Kuiper cliff, the Eridanus Supervoid.

Where could this article be published? If you have any idea, please share.
By Claire Bates
Last updated at 10:01 AM on 11th November 2009

Although no one noticed at the time, the Earth was almost hit by an asteroid last Friday.

The previously undiscovered asteroid came within 8,700miles of Earth but astronomers noticed it only 15 hours before it made its closest approach.

Its orbit brought it 30 times nearer than the Moon, which is 250,000 miles away.

artist's impression

site where meteorite hit

Part of the devastation in Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 after a meteorite struck. The impact created a blast so powerful it levelled 1,200 square miles of forest

But before you head for the nuclear bunkers you will be relieved to learn the tumbling rock was only 23ft across. Similar sized objects pass by this close to Earth about twice a year and impact on the planet about once every five years.

08 October 2009 @ 11:37 pm
Tomorrow morning at 7:30am EDT, the upper stage of a Centaur rocket will impact upon a crater on the Moon's South Pole, creating a large plume of minerals... and hopefully water ice. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will scan the plume and fly through it, sending data back to Earth as rapidly as possible.

Four minutes later, LCROSS itself will impact nearby, creating another plume.

The plumes will be visible from Earth, but you'll need a 10" diameter telescope or better to see them. Alternatively, you can watch the event live on NASA TV, which streams to the Web (or its own cable channel, depending on your provider's lineup). Take a look at NASA's LCROSS Viewer's Guide for more details.

There will probably be videos on YouTube after the fact, as well... I'll try to remember to snag one and post it here after I get home from work.

Current Location: Fairfax, VA
Current Mood: excitedexcited
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione, Ap Medical Writer Wed Jul 29, 7:46 pm ET

In a daring experiment in Europe, scientists used mosquitoes as flying needles to deliver a "vaccine" of live malaria parasites through their bites. The results were astounding: Everyone in the vaccine group acquired immunity to malaria; everyone in a non-vaccinated comparison group did not, and developed malaria when exposed to the parasites later.

The study was only a small proof-of-principle test, and its approach is not practical on a large scale. However, it shows that scientists may finally be on the right track to developing an effective vaccine against one of mankind's top killers. A vaccine that uses modified live parasites just entered human testing.

20 July 2009 @ 09:06 pm
Forty years ago tonight, two men walked on the Moon.

Think about that.

People. Fellas with whom you might have gone to school. Buddies from the service. One of those pilot fellas from down the street who was always buzzing the neighborhood.

They went to the Moon.

They went, and I think that's awesome. I'm insanely jealous, because I want to go, too. Here in the US, we're at a bit of a crossroads as far as space exploration is concerned.

What do you folks think?

Questions on SpaceflightCollapse )
Current Location: Fairfax, VA
Current Mood: impressedawestruck
Current Music: "Moonshot" on the History Channel