When Temple Grandin argued that animals and autistic savants share cognitive similarities in her best-selling book Animals in Translation (2005), the idea gained steam outside the community of cognitive neuroscientists. Grandin, a professor of animal science whose best-selling books have provided an unprecedented look at the autistic mind, says her autism gives her special insight into the inner workings of the animal mind. She based her proposal on the observation that animals, like autistic humans, sense and respond to stimuli that nonautistic humans usually overlook.
Frozen in time… frozen in place… frozen solid… All of these phrases have been used to describe Antarctica, and yet they all belie the truth about this southerly point on the globe. Although the area is covered in ice and bears witness to some of the most extreme cold on the planet, this ecosystem is dynamic, not static, and change here has always been dramatic and intense. A report published in the March issue of Ecology argues that the extreme cold and environmental conditions of past Ice Ages have been even more severe than seen today and changed life at the Antarctic, forcing the migration of many animals such as penguins, whales and seals. Understanding the changes of the past may help scientists to determine how the anticipated temperature increases of the future will work to further transform this continent.
Scientists who have studied the genome of the virus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) say their comparisons to related viruses offer new evidence that the virus infecting humans originated in bats.
While most people understand the dangers of flushing toxic chemicals into the ecosystem through municipal sewer systems, one potentially devastating threat to wild fish populations comes from an unlikely source: estrogen. After an exhaustive seven-year research effort, Canadian biologists found that miniscule amounts of estrogen present in municipal wastewater discharges can decimate wild fish populations living downstream.
People with sleep apnea — a breathing disorder that disrupts sleep — are at double the risk of being in a car crash, a new study by Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and University of British Columbia respirologists finds.