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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: A Pig's Mom Knows Best
15 June 2010 7:01 pm
Pigs may have a reputation for scarfing down everything in sight, but piglets are reluctant to eat solid foods when they're being weaned, to the point where they can lose weight and get sick. In a new study published tomorrow in Biology Letters, researchers tried a couple of tricks to get the piglets to eat new foods. First, they reared some of the animals in an environment full of unfamiliar objects—such as wood shavings, straw, and branches—hypothesizing that exposure to new things might prompt the porkers to eat novel foods. And indeed, 89% of piglets who were raised there ate a new snack—chocolate-covered peanuts—versus only 77% of piglets who grew up in more barren surroundings. Having mom around helped even more: When the researchers added the piglets' mothers to the equation, 94% of the babies ate the peanuts, regardless of which environment they had been raised in. The piglets appear to follow mom's lead, say the researchers, trusting in her wisdom.
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