Female Japanese macaques at the center of their social network had less lice thanks to the extra grooming they receive from their many friends. This was especially true during winter when macaques mate and during summer when they give birth. Photo by Julie Duboscq/Kyoto University Animals Health 

For Macaques, More Friends Means Fewer Parasites

By Emily Rhode @riseandsci What if instead of just hanging out on lunch dates or at happy hour, people sat around and picked parasites from their friends’ bodies? That probably wouldn’t go over too well with humans, but primate researchers from Kyoto University have found that for Japanese macaques, popularity might just be the key to better health and hygiene. Winning This Popularity Contest Could Mean Fewer Lice for Female Macaques Normally, more social interaction between animals means more of a chance to spread parasites and disease (think being confined indoors…

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bat Animals Health 

Hotspots of Bat-Human Virus Transmission

By Neha Jain @lifesciexplore Since the turn of the century, we’ve already been gripped by three major outbreaks of new diseases—SARS in China, MERS in the Middle East, and Ebola in Africa—that have had devastating social and economic effects. Wouldn’t it be helpful if we could predict where the next emerging infectious disease is likely to occur? Now, we are a step closer. Scientists have mapped high-risk regions, termed hotspots, for the transmission of viruses from bats to humans, based on several driving factors including bushmeat hunting and population density. “We…

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