(Press-News.org) PULLMAN, Wash. - Man's best friend might actually belong to a woman.
In a cross-cultural analysis, Washington State University researchers found several factors may have played a role in building the mutually beneficial relationship between humans and dogs, including temperature, hunting and surprisingly - gender.
"We found that dogs' relationships with women might have had a greater impact on the dog-human bond than relationships with men," said Jaime Chambers, a WSU anthropology Ph.D. student and first author on the paper published in the Journal of Ethnobiology. "Humans were more likely to regard dogs as a type of person if the dogs had a special relationship with women. They were more likely to be included in family life, treated as subjects of affection and generally, people had greater regard for them."
While dogs are the oldest, most widespread domesticated animal, very few anthropologic studies have directly focused on the human relationship with canines. Yet when the WSU researchers searched the extensive collection of ethnographic documents in the Human Relations Area Files database, they found thousands of mentions of dogs.
Ultimately, they located data from more than 844 ethnographers writing on 144 traditional, subsistence-level societies from all over the globe. Looking at these cultures can provide insight into how the dog-human relationship developed, Chambers said.
"Our modern society is like a blip in the timeline of human history," she said. "The truth is that human-dog relationships have not looked like they do in Western industrialized societies for most of human history, and looking at traditional societies can offer a wider vision."
The researchers noted specific instances that showed dogs' utility, or usefulness, to humans, and humans' utility to dogs as well as the "personhood" of dogs--when canines were treated like people, such as being given names, allowed to sleep in the same beds or mourned when they died.
A pattern emerged that showed when women were more involved with dogs, the humans' utility to dogs went up, as did the dogs' personhood.
Another prevalent trend involved the environment: the warmer the overall climate, the less useful dogs tended to be to humans.
"Relative to humans, dogs are really not particularly energy efficient," said Robert Quinlan, WSU anthropology professor and corresponding author on the paper. "Their body temperature is higher than humans, and just a bit of exercise can make them overheat on a hot day. We saw this trend that they had less utility to humans in warmer environments."
Quinlan noted there were some exceptions to this with a few dog-loving cultures in the tropics, but it was a fairly consistent trend.
Hunting also seemed to strengthen the dog-human connection. In cultures that hunted with dogs, they were more valued by their human partners: they were higher in the measures of dogs' utility to humans and in personhood. Those values declined, however, when food production increased whether it was growing crops or keeping livestock. This finding seemed to go against the commonly held perception of herding dogs working in concert with humans, but Quinlan noted that in many cultures, herding dogs often work alone whereas hunting requires a more intense cooperation.
This study adds evidence to the evolutionary theory that dogs and humans chose each other, rather than the older theory that humans intentionally sought out wolf pups to raise on their own. Either way, there have been clear benefits for the dogs, Chambers said.
"Dogs are everywhere humans are," she said. "If we think that dogs are successful as a species if there are lots of them, then they have been able to thrive. They have hitched themselves to us and followed us all over the world. It's been a very successful relationship."
Arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing due to global warming, and scientists have found that sea ice dynamics have a big impact on circulation and precipitation patterns in Arctic Alaska, which lies at a climatological crossroads between the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans. Recent studies--most of which focus on current trends in the region and on what will happen in the future--have shown that circulation patterns in the Arctic and North Pacific Oceans influence one another.
Doctoral candidate Ellie Broadman of Northern Arizona University's School of Earth and Sustainability wanted to learn about this relationship on a longer timescale, so she developed and led a ...
A group of scientists is calling on governments to consider the continued use of strict control measures as the only way to reduce the evolution and spread of new COVID-19 variants.
The experts in evolution, virology, infectious disease and genomics - at the University of East Anglia (UEA), Earlham Institute and University of Minnesota - warn that while governments are negotiating a "precarious balance" between saving the economy and preventing COVID-19 fatalities, stronger action now is the best way to mitigate against more serious outcomes from such virulent strains later.
While COVID-19 vaccine deployment is now underway, a threat to vaccine effectiveness comes from other emerging strains, both existing - such as the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants ...
New estimates reveal extent of the health burden of armed conflict--affecting at least 630 million women and children worldwide in 2017, and contributing to more than 10 million deaths among children under 5 years of age over 20 years.
Changing nature of war is a growing threat to humanitarian access and the provision of essential health services for women and children, but responses in countries like Syria, Pakistan, and Colombia may provide context-specific innovative ways forward.
Armed conflicts are becoming increasingly complex and protracted and a growing threat to humanitarian access and the delivery of essential health services, affecting at least 630 million women and ...
Dramatic changes were seen in the delivery of radiotherapy treatments for cancer during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in England.
Much shorter radiotherapy courses were delivered, treatments were delayed where it was safe to do so and some increases were seen in order to compensate for reduced surgical capacity.
Experts believe the changes reflect an impressive adaption of services by the NHS, and that the overall impact on cancer outcomes is likely to be modest.
The new research, led by the University of Leeds, with Public Health England and the Royal College of Radiologists, reveals that there was a decrease in radiotherapy treatment courses of 19.9% in April, 6.2% in May, and 11.6% in June 2020, compared with the same months the previous year.
These decreases equated ...
GALVESTON, Texas - The results of a study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch may pave the way for a new medicine delivery system that could reduce the incidence of pre-term labor and premature birth by allowing physicians to treat the 'fetus as the patient'. The study has been published in Science Advances.
It has long been suspected that pre-term labor is triggered by inflammation caused by a sick fetus. A new study by scientists at UTMB has proved the hypothesis by studying several important assumptions about the relationship between the health of a mother and her unborn child.
According to Dr. Ramkumar Menon, ...
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Metallurgists have all kinds of ways to make a chunk of metal harder. They can bend it, twist it, run it between two rollers or pound it with a hammer. These methods work by breaking up the metal's grain structure -- the microscopic crystalline domains that form a bulk piece of metal. Smaller grains make for harder metals.
Now, a group of Brown University researchers has found a way to customize metallic grain structures from the bottom up. In a paper published in the journal Chem, the researchers show a method for smashing individual metal nanoclusters together to form solid macro-scale hunks of solid metal. Mechanical testing of the metals manufactured ...
The enzyme that makes RNA from a DNA template is altered to slow the production of ribosomal RNA (rRNA), the most abundant type of RNA within cells, when resources are scarce and the bacteria Escherichia coli needs to slow its growth. Researchers used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to capture the structures of the RNA polymerase while in complex with DNA and showed how its activity is changed in response to poor-growth conditions. A paper describing the research led by Penn State scientists appears January 22, 2020 in the journal Nature Communications.
"RNA polymerase is an enzyme that produces a variety of RNAs using information encoded in DNA," said Katsuhiko Murakami, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Penn State and the leader of the research ...
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1267, Hai Zou and Shengqing Li from the Institute of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China consider ECMO/CRRT combined support in the treatment of critically ill SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients.
The authors of this article explored the experience with, and complications of, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) combined with continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) for treatment of critically ill patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia.
The survival rate of patients with cardiopulmonary failure treated with ECMO/CRRT in whom conventional ...
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1263, Yao Dong, Jun-E Liu and Ling Song from the Capital Medical University, Beijing, China consider risk factors for intraoperative pressure injury in aortic surgery.
Intraoperative pressure injuries are some of the most significant health problems in clinical practice. Patients undergoing aortic surgery are at high risk of developing an intraoperative pressure injury, with an incidence much higher than that associated with other types of cardiac surgery.
In this article the authors identify risk factors associated with an increased risk of intraoperative pressure injury in patients undergoing aortic ...
In a new publication from Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications; DOI https://doi.org/10.15212/CVIA.2019.1266, Zhuzhi Wen, Jingying Hou, Zun Mai, Huifen Huang, Yangxin Chen, Dengfeng Geng and Jingfeng Wang from Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China and Guandong Province Key Laboratory of Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, Guangzhou, China consider predictive value of blood pressure, heart rate, and blood pressure/heart rate ratio in a Chinese subpopulation with vasovagal syncope.
Blood pressure, heart rate and ratios of blood pressure to heart rate in the titled position during the simplistic tilt test had predictive value with regard ...