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

Published: November 19, 2012.
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

Sugar Substance 'Kills' Good HDL Cholesterol, New Research Finds
Scientists at the University of Warwick have discovered that 'good' cholesterol is turned 'bad' by a sugar-derived substance. The substance, methylglyoxal - MG, was found to damage 'good' HDL cholesterol, which removes excess levels of bad cholesterol from the body. Low levels of HDL, High Density Lipoprotein, are closely linked to heart disease, with increased levels of MG being common in the elderly and those with diabetes or kidney problems.
Gamblers Are Greedy Bird-brains, University of Warwick Research Finds
Gamblers are greedy bird-brains, University of Warwick research finds Gamblers show the same tendencies as pigeons when they make risky decisions, new research has shown. Researchers, led by Dr Elliot Ludvig of the University of Warwick's Department of Psychology, conducted tests that found that both human gamblers and pigeons were 35% more likely to gamble for high-value than low-value rewards.
Social Inequalities in Salt Consumption Remain
People from low socio-economic positions in Britain still eat more salt than those from higher socio-economic positions, irrespective of where they live. A paper published in the BMJ Open journal and led by Warwick Medical School suggests social inequalities in salt intake have hardly changed in the period from 2000-01 to 2011. This is despite a national average salt reduction over this time.
Lack of Naturally Occuring Protein Linked to Dementia
Scientists at the University of Warwick have provided the first evidence that the lack of a naturally occurring protein is linked to early signs of dementia. Published in Nature Communications, the research found that the absence of the protein MK2/3 promotes structural and physiological changes to cells in the nervous system. These changes were shown to have a significant correlation with early signs of dementia, including restricted learning and memory formation capabilities.
White Dwarfs Crashing into Neutron Stars Explain Loneliest Supernovae
A research team led by astronomers and astrophysicists at the University of Warwick have found that some of the Universe's loneliest supernovae are likely created by the collisions of white dwarf stars into neutron stars.
Self-assembling Anti-cancer Molecules Created in Minutes
Researchers have developed a simple and versatile method for making artificial anti-cancer molecules that mimic the properties of one of the body's natural defence systems. The chemists, led by Professor Peter Scott at the University of Warwick, UK, have been able to produce molecules that have a similar structure to peptides which are naturally produced in the body to fight cancer and infection.
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