Findings — From the October 2016 issue
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Vanuatu was struck by fatal diarrhea, lumpy skin disease debuted in Albania, camel pox broke out among Israeli and Palestinian dromedaries, and glanders was causing panic sales of studs across Gujarat. Taiga ticks had invaded Bothnian Bay. Gabonese poachers bitten by gorillas acquired two new strains of H.T.L.V.-4. Banana bunchy top virus was reported in KwaZulu-Natal. The Basotho tribe of eastern Free State were treating their diabetes with daisies and marijuana. A Colorado town’s reservoir was found to be adulterated with THC. Measles appeared at a Welsh music festival. People like rooms where they’ve previously been drinking. Alcohol is more likely than marijuana to lead to unusual partner choice and post-sex regret. The use of R ratings to protect children from images of smoking in films may be mooted by streaming and piracy. Aye-ayes and slow lorises prefer whatever nectar contains the most alcohol. Hammerheads swim better when tilting sideways. Ominous background music worsens humans’ attitudes toward sharks. An eagle in Australia grabbed the head of a boy who kept zipping and unzipping his hoodie. “That’s just the nature,” said a raptor expert, “of the beast.”
Reading Harry Potter books worsens Americans’ attitudes toward Donald Trump, an Indianapolis orangutan learned to imitate human speech, and Native Amazonians are indifferent to dissonance. Nationalism and patriotism are associated with distinct patterns of gray-matter density. The hedonically inclined have a larger left globus pallidus. Electrical stimulation of the frontal operculum causes smiles and laughter. Following a stroke, a Portuguese widow lost her sense of ownership over her possessions, including her eight cats, who were “like strangers.” Doctors described the first case of Alzheimer’s in a patient with H.I.V. Millennials are having less sex than Generation X did at the same age, possibly because they spend so much time online. Nanog reactivates stem cells in progeriacs. Russian social scientists warned that the worldwide rise of gerontocracy may inspire backlash from the young. Adult male Cardiocondyla ants smear juvenile rivals with feces and gastric juices to indicate that they should be killed. Parasitism evolved in animals at least 223 separate times.
A newly discovered species of Chinese leaf roller weevil has not yet developed the ability to roll leaves. Ecologists hoped to save Pando — the world’s largest living organism, which consists of 47,000 male quaking aspens — by building a fence to stop animals from eating it. British badgers now fear large carnivores, including those no longer extant in Britain, such as bears and wolves, less than they fear humans. An Indian snake charmer attempted suicide by cobra. Successful long-term reconstruction was described in men who lost their penises to blast injuries, schizophrenic self-amputation, and donkey bite. Imperial College London revealed a robotic rectum with prosthetic buttocks, and mentioned plans to create a robotic vagina. It may be possible to couple an electron and a photon, and it is possible to convert carbon dioxide into energy using sunlight. A bacterium was programmed to consume carbon dioxide and produce sugar. Scientists now know the reasons for concrete creep but do not know whether garlicky breast milk influences babies’ preferences later in life. Two-thousand-year-old butter from an Irish bog was found to be smelly.
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