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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: No Justice for Chimps
27 August 2012 3:00 pm
Rob a bank and it won't be the teller who sentences you to jail, but rather a judge. This is known as third-party punishment, in which individuals punish violators even when the violation doesn’t directly affect them, and it’s critical to the maintenance of cooperation in human societies. But dominant chimpanzees, who dish out punishment when stolen from, turn a blind eye unless the theft directly affects them, according to a new study. Researchers gave captive chimps the chance to punish those who stole food. In one experiment, the "actor" chimp watched as a "thief" pulled food away from a "victim." The actor could then push a button to release a trapdoor in the cage, causing the food to fall out of reach of the thief. Dominant actors punished thieves who stole from them, but not those who stole from others, even when they were related to the victim, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings suggest that third-party punishment evolved in humans after we diverged from our closest living relatives.
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