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Research Finds Evidence of a 'Mid-life Crisis' in Great Apes

Published: November 19, 2012.
Released by University of Warwick  

Chimpanzees and orangutans can experience a mid-life crisis just like humans, a study suggests. This is the finding from a new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, that set out to test the theory that the pattern of human well-being over a lifespan might have evolved in the common ancestors of humans and great apes.

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More news from University of Warwick

The Saying 'It Never Rains but It Pours' Is Truer Than Ever in Scotland
New research at the University of Warwick with colleagues from the London School of Economics has identified changes in the shape of rainfall across Europe; changes in the amount of drizzle compared with downpours and everything in-between.

Maths Skills Count for Premature Babies
A new study conducted by the University of Warwick links being born premature with low wages. Researchers have identified a link between being born preterm and decreased intelligence, reading and in particular mathematical ability and have highlighted an effect on earnings into adulthood. Head of the research, Professor Dieter Wolke said: "This study is of importance because it could be used to flag up the need for extra support at school for children who are born pre-term."

Dying Star Suffers 'Irregular Heartbeats'
Some dying stars suffer from 'irregular heartbeats', research led by astronomers at the University of Warwick has discovered. The research confirms rapid brightening events in otherwise normal pulsating white dwarfs, which are stars in the final stage of their life cycles.

Happiness Spreads but Depression Doesn't
Having friends who suffer from depression doesn't affect the mental health of others, according to research led by the University of Warwick. The academics found that having friends can help teenagers recover from depression or even avoid becoming depressed in the first instance.

Adult IQ of Very Premature Babies Can Be Predicted by the Age of Two
Research from the University of Warwick indicates that the IQ of adults born very premature or of very low birth weight can be predicted when they are just a toddler. The study was led by psychology researcher Professor Dieter Wolke. Previous studies have linked very premature birth and very low birth weight with impaired cognitive function from childhood and throughout adulthood. However until now it wasn't clear how soon adult IQ can be predicted in these children

Research Links Premature Birth to Withdrawn Personality
New research indicates that adults born very premature are more likely to be socially withdrawn and display signs of autism. The study was led by Professor Dieter Wolke at the department of psychology and Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick. The results showed that the adults born very preterm scored highly for displaying a socially withdrawn personality, indicated by autistic features, neuroticism, introversion and decreased risk taking.

Cell Structure Discovery Advances Understanding of Cancer Development
University of Warwick researchers have discovered a cell structure which could help scientists understand why some cancers develop. For the first time a structure called 'the mesh' has been identified which helps to hold together cells. This discovery, which has been published in the online journal eLife, changes our understanding of the cell's internal scaffolding.

Experts Call for More Understanding of Hospital Weekend Death Risk
Professor Richard Lilford and Dr Yen-Fu Chen of the University's Warwick Medical School, raised the issue following a study that states hospital weekend death risk is common in several developed countries - not just England Professor Lilford, said: "Understanding this is an extremely important task since it is large, at about 10% in relative risk terms and 0.4% in percentage point terms. This amounts to about 160 additional deaths in a hospital with 40,000 discharges per year.

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