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A Happy Life Is a Long One for Orangutans

Published: June 29, 2011.
Released by Society for Experimental Biology  

New research has shown that happier orang-utans live longer which may shed light on the evolution of happiness in humans.

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More news from Society for Experimental Biology

Will Climate Change Put Mussels Off the Menu?
Climate change models predict that sea temperatures will rise significantly, including in the tropics. In these areas, rainfall is also predicted to increase, reducing the salt concentration of the surface layer of the sea. Together, these changes would dramatically affect the microscopic communities of bacteria and plankton that inhabit the oceans, impacting species higher up the food chain. Worryingly, future conditions may favour disease-causing bacteria and plankton species which produce toxins, such as the lethal PST (paralytic shellfish toxin). These can accumulate in…

Stopping Candida in Its Tracks
Scientists are one step closer to understanding how a normally harmless fungus changes to become a deadly infectious agent.

The Clock Is Ticking: New Method Reveals Exact Time of Death After 10 Days
A new method for calculating the exact time of death, even after as much as 10 days, has been developed by a group of researchers at the University of Salzburg. Currently, there are no reliable ways to determine the time since death after approximately 36 hours. Initial results suggest that this method can be applied in forensics to estimate the time elapsed since death in humans.

Baby Seals That Practice in Pools Make Better Divers
Being able to dive is what matters most for seal pups, but how do they learn to do it? Grey seal pups that can play in pools may have better diving skills once they make the move to the sea, and this could increase their chance of survival. Researchers at Plymouth University have found that spending time in pools of water helps seal pups hold their breath for longer.

The Inside Story: MRI Imaging Shows How Plants Can Inspire New Engineering Materials
3-D imaging of plant branching structures is allowing researchers to see how exactly their internal tissues respond under stress, giving new insights into the design of potential new engineering materials, such as those used in aircraft and sports equipment.

Improving Rice Flour to Aid Food Poverty
A new, high-quality rice flour could help towards aiding global food poverty. "This rice flour serves not only as an alternative to wheat flour for those with wheat intolerance, but could also help to overcome the global food problem in the future", says Dr Yayoi Onda (Yamagata University, Japan), one of the researchers behind this work.

Can Pollution Help Trees Fight Infection?
Trees that can tolerate soil pollution are also better at defending themselves against pests and pathogens. "It looks like the very act of tolerating chemical pollution may give trees an advantage from biological invasion", says Dr Frederic E. Pitre of the University of Montreal and one of the researchers behind the discovery.

The Power of the Power Nap!
For hibernating mammals, the pre-winter months are a race against time to accumulate enough energy reserves to last until spring. Offspring born late in the year have much less time to achieve this. Austrian scientists have discovered that power-napping can help late-born dormice overcome these unfavourable odds.

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Biological invasions get less prime-time coverage than natural disasters, but may be more economically damaging and warrant corresponding investments …

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The Largest Electrical Networks Are Not the Best
Researchers Develop New Approach to Identify Possible Ecological Effects of Releasing Genetically Engineered Insects
University of Minnesota researchers have developed a new approach for identifying potential environmental effects of deliberate releases of genetically …

To the Rescue: Helping Threatened Mediterranean Sea Turtles
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