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Chimps remember events from the past

A new study suggests that chimpanzees and orangutans have abilities like humans to remember past events of their lives.

In laboratory tests, both primate species were clearly able to recollect a tool-finding event that they had experienced just four times three years earlier and a singular event from two weeks before.

It seems we have more in common with our primate cousins than we thought, specifically when it comes to our autobiographical memories, the researchers said.

“Our data and other emerging evidence keep challenging the idea of non-human animals being stuck in time,” Gema Martin-Ordas of Aarhus University in Denmark, said.

“We show not only that chimpanzees and orangutans remember events that happened two weeks or three years ago, but also that they can remember them even when they are not expecting to have to recall those events at a later time,” the researcher said.

The chimpanzees and orangutans in the study could also distinguish between similar past events in which the same tasks, locations, and people were involved, she said.

Eating fish during pregnancy may lower anxiety

Eating one serving of dark or oily fish a week could lower risk of anxiety in pregnant women, a new study suggests.

Findings showed that pregnant women who never or rarely ate dark or oily fish (salmon and tuna, for example) were 53 percent more likely to experience high levels of anxiety in their third trimester compared with women who ate fish at least once a week, the New York Daily News reported.

Vegetarian women were also 25 percent more likely to have anxiety compared with women who had consumed some fish and meat.

Researchers from the Federal University of Pelotas recruited 9,500 women for the study, grouping the women based on their dietary patterns.

At 32 weeks of pregnancy, the women completed questionnaires about their anxiety levels.

“In order to have a healthy pregnancy, women need to follow a healthy diet, and not something special for pregnancy,” study author Juliana Vaz said.

Vaz recommends a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish.

Regularly breaking a sweat can lower stroke risk

Regular exercise lowers the risk of having a stroke, new research suggests.

A stroke can occur when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked. As a result, nearby brain cells will die after not getting enough oxygen and other nutrients.

A number of risk factors for stroke have been identified, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being inactive.

For this study, Michelle N. McDonnell, Ph.D., from the University of South Australia, Adelaide and her colleagues obtained data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.

REGARDS is a large, long-term study funded by the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to look at the reasons behind the higher rates of stroke mortality among African-Americans and other residents living in the Southeastern United States.

“Epidemiological studies such as REGARDS provide an important opportunity to explore race, genetics, environmental, and lifestyle choices as stroke risk factors,” Claudia Moy, Ph.D., program director at NINDS, said.

Over 30,000 participants supplied their medical history over the phone.
The researchers also visited them to obtain health measures such as body mass index and blood pressure.

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