When Biruté Galdikas arrived to settle in the jungles of Indonesia almost 50 years ago, there was hardly any information about Borneo, let alone about its loneliest inhabitants: the orangutans. Today she is the world's foremost expert on orangutan behaviour and, at 73, still continues with the on-site study and defence of the conservation of this endangered species.
The acidification of the oceans is recorded in the crystals of the coral skeleton. This is a new tool for studying past environmental changes and combating climate change. Such is the main conclusion of a study led by the Spanish scientist Ismael Coronado Vila, from the Institute of Paleobiology in Warsaw (Poland).
In the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, between the third and second millennium BC, a widespread funeral practice consisted in burying humans with animals. Scientists have discovered that both foxes and dogs were domesticated, as their diet was similar to that of their owners.
A team of Spanish researchers has analyzed the character of these mammals of the dolphin family, whose name and fame does not do them justice. According to the conclusions of the study, carried out on 24 specimens in captivity, these cetaceans tend to act with responsibility, kindness, extroversion, care and dominance.
For decades, the elderly in Spain have shown a preference for living at home, either alone or with their partners, instead of sharing a home with relatives of other generations. A study by the University of Granada delves into the reasons for this trend.
In Barcelona, the image of wild boar herds in the streets is increasingly common, which is a problem for the species and its coexistence with humans. Researchers from the Autonomous Universities of Barcelona and Aveiro (Portugal) have identified the main factors that lead these animals to the cities: they look for green corridors and dry foods like those of cats.
Several coastal cities of the USA and China are in danger due to sea-level rise that will take place if adaptation measures against climate change are not taken. A study led by the Basque Center for Climate Change on the 120 largest cities in the world warns of the fate that will run large cities such as New Orleans, Canton, Shanghai, Boston and New York.
The precariousness in the media focuses on women journalists: among the members of the editorial offices with university studies that charge less than 1,000 Euros, 85% are women. In addition, men hold three quarters of the positions of maximum managerial responsibility and two thirds of the positions of decision-making on the contents. An international study with the participation of Spanish researchers shows data on this gender gap.
According to the glacier refuges theory, after the last glaciations the bears of northern Europe sought shelter in the South. Researchers from A Coruña University reject this idea: they have reconstructed the colonization of brown bears in the Iberian Peninsula and have shown that the lineage of the Pleistocene bears was lost.
A sugar called Neu5Gc, present in red meat, some fish and dairy products, is related to the appearance of spontaneous tumors in humans. Researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno, led by Spaniard David Álvarez Ponce, have analyzed the evolutionary history of the CMAH gene - which allows the synthesis of this sugar - and shown which groups of animals have lost the gene and therefore are more suitable for human consumption and for organ transplants.