PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating

A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating
2021-02-25
(Press-News.org) Pheasants fall into two groups in terms of how they find their way around - and the different types prefer slightly different habitats, new research shows. University of Exeter scientists tested whether individual pheasants used landmarks (allocentric) or their own position (egocentric) to learn the way through a maze. The captive-bred pheasants were later released into the wild, and their choice of habitat was observed. All pheasants favoured woodland, but allocentric navigators spent more time out in the open, where their landmark-based style is more useful. "Humans tend to use both of these navigational tactics and quite frequently combine them, but when animals are tested, they often seem to rely more on one or the other," said Dr Christine Beardsworth. "It is assumed that species favour whichever strategy suits their habitat, rather than using habitats which suit their strategy. "Pheasants generally favour woodland, where an allocentric strategy is difficult because there are lots of trees close together, so it is hard to pick out landmarks. "So, we might expect most pheasants to use an egocentric strategy - turning left, turning right or moving forward based on their own position and previous movements. "However, in our study about half of pheasants reared in identical conditions used an allocentric strategy, while the other half used an egocentric or mixed strategy." In the experiments, 20 pheasants first learned how to navigate through a simple maze, then faced a rotated version. By altering the orientation of the maze but keeping the placement of "landmarks" the same, including the position of a human observer, the scientists were able to establish the preferred navigation strategy of each pheasant. The discovery of individual variation suggest pheasants are either born with an "inherent cognitive bias", or develop one early in life. Resulting differences in habitat selection may indicate that these biases help them to navigate more effectively in particular environments, perhaps outperforming other pheasants in relocating resources. However, it is not yet clear whether this is the case.

INFORMATION:

The research team included the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv University. The work was funded by an ERC consolidators grant awarded to Dr Joah Madden. The paper, published in the journal Ecology Letters, is entitled: "Is habitat selection in the wild shaped by individual-level cognitive biases in orientation strategy?"


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

CAR T-cell therapy generates lasting remissions in patients with multiple myeloma

CAR T-cell therapy generates lasting remissions in patients with multiple myeloma
2021-02-25
In a major advance in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a CAR T-cell therapy has generated deep, sustained remissions in patients who had relapsed from several previous therapies, an international clinical trial has found. In a study posted online today by the New England Journal of Medicine, trial leaders report that almost 75% of the participants responded to the therapy, known as idecabtagene vicleucel (ide-cel), and one-third of them had a complete response, or disappearance of all signs of their cancer. These rates, and the duration of the responses, are significantly ...

Fantastic voyage: Nanobodies could help CRISPR turn genes on and off

2021-02-25
The genetic tool CRISPR has been likened to molecular scissors for its ability to snip out and replace genetic code within DNA. But CRISPR has a capability that could make it useful beyond genetic repairs. "CRISPR can precisely locate specific genes," says Lacramioara Bintu, an assistant professor of bioengineering at Stanford. "What we did was attach CRISPR to nanobodies to help it perform specific actions when it reached the right spot on DNA." Her lab recently used this combo technique to transform CRISPR from a gene-editing scissors into a nanoscale control agent that can toggle specific genes on and off, like a light switch, to start or stop the flow of some health-related protein inside a cell. "There are a lot of things you can't fix ...

Baby mice have a skill that humans want - and this microchip might help us learn it

2021-02-25
Baby mice might be small, but they're tough, too. For their first seven days of life, they have the special ability to regenerate damaged heart tissue. Humans, on the other hand, aren't so lucky: any heart injuries we suffer could lead to permanent damage. But what if we could learn to repair our hearts, just like baby mice? A team of researchers led by UNSW Sydney have developed a microchip that can help scientists study the regenerative potential of mice heart cells. This microchip - which combines microengineering with biomedicine - could help pave the way for new regenerative heart medicine research. The study is featured on the cover ...

New discoveries on the containment of COVID-19 finds travel bans are of limited value

2021-02-25
BROOKLYN, New York, Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - Travel bans have been key to efforts by many countries to control the spread of COVID-19. But new research aimed at providing a decision support system to Italian policy makers, recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, suggests that reducing individual activity (i.e., social distancing, closure of non-essential business, etc.) is far superior in controlling the dissemination of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The research, which has implications for the United States and other countries, found that limiting personal mobility through travel restrictions and similar tactics is effective only in the first phases of the epidemic, and reduces in proportion to the ...

UM scientists achieve breakthrough in culturing corals and sea anemones cells

UM scientists achieve breakthrough in culturing corals and sea anemones cells
2021-02-25
MIAMI--Researchers have perfected the recipe for keeping sea anemone and coral cells alive in a petri dish for up to 12 days. The new study, led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, has important applications to study everything from evolutionary biology to human health. Cnidarians are emerging model organisms for cell and molecular biology research. Yet, successfully keeping their cells in a laboratory setting has proved challenging due to contamination from the many microorganisms that live within these marine organisms or because the whole tissue survive in a culture environment. UM cell ...

New shape-changing 4D materials hold promise for morphodynamic tissue engineering

New shape-changing 4D materials hold promise for morphodynamic tissue engineering
2021-02-25
New hydrogel-based materials that can change shape in response to psychological stimuli, such as water, could be the next generation of materials used to bioengineer tissues and organs, according to a team of researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago. In a new paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the research team -- led by Eben Alsberg, the Richard and Loan Hill Professor of Biomedical Engineering -- that developed the substances show that the unique materials can curl into tubes in response to water, making the materials good candidates for bioengineering blood vessels or other tubular structures. In nature, embryonic development and tissue healing often involve ...

Apollo rock samples capture key moments in the Moon's early history, study find

2021-02-24
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Volcanic rock samples collected during NASA's Apollo missions bear the isotopic signature of key events in the early evolution of the Moon, a new analysis found. Those events include the formation of the Moon's iron core, as well as the crystallization of the lunar magma ocean -- the sea of molten rock thought to have covered the Moon for around 100 million years after the it formed. The analysis, published in the journal Science Advances, used a technique called secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to study volcanic glasses returned ...

COVID-19 isolation linked to increased domestic violence, researchers suggest

2021-02-24
While COVID-19-related lockdowns may have decreased the spread of a deadly virus, they appear to have created an ideal environment for increased domestic violence.c Data collected in surveys of nearly 400 adults for 10 weeks beginning in April 2020 suggest that more services and communication are needed so that even front-line health and food bank workers, for example -- rather than only social workers, doctors and therapists -- can spot the signs and ask clients questions about potential intimate partner violence. They could then help lead victims to resources, said Clare Cannon, assistant professor of social and environmental justice in the Department of Human Ecology and the lead author of the study. The paper, "COVID-19, intimate partner violence, and communication ...

What to do when a mammogram shows swollen lymph nodes in women just vaccinated for COVID

2021-02-24
BOSTON - Swelling of lymph nodes in the armpit area is a normal response to COVID-19 vaccinations, but when they are seen on mammograms, they can be mistaken for nodes that are swollen because of cancer. In some cases, the nodes are biopsied to confirm they are not cancer. To avoid confusion by patients and their providers, and to avoid delays in either vaccinations or recommended mammograms through the pandemic, radiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have published an approach to manage what is expected to be a fairly common occurrence as vaccination programs ramp up. The approach is described in the American Journal of Roentgenology. "We had started ...

After Hurricane Irma, soundscape reveals resilient reef ecosystem

2021-02-24
A new study from North Carolina State University reveals that the soundscapes of coral reef ecosystems can recover quickly from severe weather events such as hurricanes. The work also demonstrates that non-invasive monitoring is an important tool in shedding further light on these key ecosystems. Soundscape ecology is a relatively new way for researchers to keep tabs on a variety of habitats without direct interference. In underwater habitats like coral reefs, soundscapes allow continual monitoring of an ecosystem that is difficult to access. By deploying underwater microphones, or hydrophones, researchers can get an acoustic picture of the types of animals in the ecosystem, as well as their behavior patterns. Kayelyn Simmons, a Ph.D. student at NC State, used soundscapes and ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Crop rotations with beans and peas offer more sustainable and nutritious food production

Five research-backed steps to a pro-vaccination social media campaign

1 in 4 parents give youth sports low rankings for enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines

Doctors still reluctant to prescribe medical cannabis: McMaster

Influence of sea surface temperature in the Indian Ocean on air quality in the Yangtze River Delta region

Frog species with 6 sex chromosomes offer new clues on evolution of complex XY systems

Study reveals the 3D structure of human uterine endometrium and adenomyosis tissue

ETRI develops a haptic film activated by LEDs

Researchers' work will help the pipeline industry limit the destructive power of bubbles

E-cigarettes with a cigarette-like level of nicotine are effective in reducing smoking

Deep Learning model developed at UHN to maximize lifespan after liver transplant 

Convenience over reputation: Study looks at how older adults pick a doctor

Ocean bacteria release carbon into the atmosphere

Spotting cows from space

Scientists watch 2D puddles of electrons emerge in a 3D superconducting material

Research suggests SEC's increasing focus on terrorism may limit financial oversight

Plastic planet: Tracking pervasive microplastics across the globe

Gut epithelium muscles up against infection

Scientists discover three liquid phases in aerosol particles

New mechanism identified behind blindness in older adults

Common approach to diversity in higher education reflects preferences of white Americans

Study reveals cancer immunotherapy patients at most risk of life-threatening side effects

Study reveals crucial details on skin-related side effects of cancer immune therapies

Researchers identify surface protein as a new osteosarcoma therapeutic target for antibody-drug conjugates

Differences in B cell responses to coronaviruses and other pathogens in children and adults

Bottom-up is the way forward for nitrogen reduction at institutions

Road salts and other human sources are threatening world's freshwater supplies

Researchers engineer probiotic yeast to produce beta-carotene

Spanking may affect the brain development of a child

UConn researchers find bubbles speed up energy transfer

[Press-News.org] A-maze-ing pheasants have two ways of navigating