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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Fukushima Dogs Were Stressed Out
11 October 2012 12:08 pm
The multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 caused a humanitarian disaster: Upwards of 100,000 people had to be evacuated from within a 20-kilometer ring around the site. But it was also a calamity for thousands of pets left behind. The animals were, of course, traumatized. But researchers have evidence that the Fukushima event was particularly devastating, at least for the estimated 5800 dogs registered in the area. The researchers compared behavior patterns and levels of the stress hormone cortisol excreted in the urine of dogs rescued from the Fukushima exclusion zone with dogs abandoned in another region of Japan. The Fukushima dogs had significantly less aggression toward unfamiliar people, were harder to train, and exhibited less attachment to caregivers than the dogs from the other region, the team reports online today in Scientific Reports. Stress hormone levels were also five to 10 times higher for the Fukushima dogs and persisted for much longer after their rescue. Team member and animal behavior specialist Miho Nagasawa, of Azabu University in Sagamihara, near Tokyo, says it is unclear whether the greater stress resulted from experiencing the earthquake, a longer time before rescue, or the sudden and complete disappearance of humans.
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