Questi primati hanno una visione oggettiva delle relazioni sociali che legano i loro simili e sono in grado di riconoscere rango sociale e relazioni famigliari. Una ricerca dell'Istituto di scienze e tecnologie della cognizione del Cnr e del Deutsches Primatenzentrum di Gottinga mostra come acquisiscano queste competenze e i vantaggi che ne traggono. Lo studio è pubblicato su Royal Society Open Science. L’osservazione di un gruppo di macachi evidenzia che i due cardini della loro organizzazione sociale sono la gerarchia di dominanza e le relazioni di parentela. Queste ultime, in particolare, determinano in larga parte la rete delle interazioni sociali, sia amichevoli, sia aggressive. Essere in grado di riconoscere le relazioni di parentela che legano altri individui, potrebbe quindi aiutare questi primati ad affrontare con successo il loro complesso mondo sociale.
A new study has identified a previously undescribed role for a type of unconventional T cell with the potential to be used in the development of new therapies for infection and cancer. The study, published today in Nature Communications, shows that Gamma Delta T cells are able to generate immunological memory against previous infections and cancerous targets. The results challenge the textbook description of Gamma Delta T cells as ‘natural born killers’ with an innate ability to recognise and destroy abnormal cells.
Myolaimus ibericus seen by scanning electron microscope. / Joaquín Abolafia
In the most arid areas where there is little to no water, there live nematodes of no more than 1 mm which feed on bacteria and help to mineralise soil and produce nutrients. In an orchard of Jaén a new species has appeared with a feature that makes them unique on the Iberian Peninsula: the males lack the copulatory organ. The southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, especially the southeastern tip, does not offer a very welcoming setting for these species. But despite the water deficit, nematodes, which are extremely small worms, known popularly as microworms, feed on bacteria they find in decomposing organic matter or on waste-strewn soil in order to survive.
A father and son from a village in the Tianlin County (China) gather firewood from the nearby forest (Nick Hogarth, CIFOR).
Village communities in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and South America have not been using local forest resources as sustainably as is often assumed. This is the conclusion of a study published by scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) together with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and Wageningen University in science journal Environment Research Letters. According to the study, in 90% of the 233 villages analysed at least one forest product such as firewood, timber, food or animal feed has declined over five years.
Research led by University of Birmingham scientists has found that people suffering from the adrenal disorder known as Addison’s disease suffer from an immune system defect which makes them prone to potentially deadly respiratory infections. The study, published online in the European Journal of Endocrinology, shows for the first time that patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) have natural killer immune cells (NK) – which provide frontline protection against invading pathogens - that are not functioning properly in Addison’s disease.