Don’t be baffled by how scientists show the transformation of wolf – from wild beast to an adorable, friendly canine companion. Because, a new study, headed by Takefumi Kikusui of the Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology at Azabu University in Japan, puts forward a new theory that dogs and homo sapiens progressed together and became ‘buddies’ over the centuries through the mutual eye contact and the higher level of oxytocin (sometimes known as “love hormone”). This, in turn, cultivated the faith and emotion between the two.
It is noteworthy that previous researches suggested that a similar behavior in mother and her child leads to long lasting love and protection. When a mother locks gaze with her baby, it stimulates production of oxytocin, resulting in an outflow of love, strong bond and a sense of protection.
The study, published in the US journal Science, unveiled that, “Dogs are more skillful than wolves and chimpanzees, the closest respective relatives of dogs and humans, at using human social communicative behaviors.”
The group of researchers observed 30 dog owners communicate with their canine pals for half an hour, and then measured the oxytoxin levels in dogs and their owners, revealed the first part of the study.
The second part focused more on finding out whether the oxytocin actually led to the prolonged stare. The researchers administered oxytocin to a new pack of dogs, and then observed how they communicated with their owners. On a strange note, oxytocin administered to female dogs drew higher levels in both the dogs and their owners when compared with male dogs. However, researchers failed to prove why this happened.
In a nutshell, this interesting research implies that over time as we tamed dogs, they might have evolved with a mutually benign ability to connect with humans exactly the same way that we bond with each other.
It’s been over 6 months since the Coronavirus outbreak and the world is still fighting against it. Coronavirus Worldometer suggests a total of 4,907,135 cases so far, including cases that resulted in deaths and the ones recovered. This is not the first time that the world is going through a pandemic and crisis. Humans saw the Spanish Flu back in 1918, the spread of HIV in 1981, and the most recent one in 2009, H1N1 Swine flu. These pandemics killed millions of people across the globe, just like COVID-19
Since the onset of the year 2020, the world has faced terrible situations. The year began with Australia still on wildfires, a US drone strike on Iran which could’ve escalated to another World War in January, February saw a global stock market crash, in March COVID-19 had spread globally forcing nations to shut down, the global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 200,000 in April and the world economy is expected to shrink 3%, which is the worst contraction since the 1930s Great Depression. With the onset of May, the global death toll exceeds 300,000 and the world faces a global mental health crisis because of isolation, fear, and economic crisis.
It’s not even been 6 months into this year and the world has already the worst of times. But the question is- who is responsible for all this? The answer is crystal clear. It is us, the human race.
The modern form of humans has existed on earth from 200,000 years. With time, humans have conquered the planet, excelled in the fields of science and technology, made impossible things possible, and developed a world with possibly the most luxurious facilities.
In the process of development, humans have caused irreparable damage to Earth and the environment which includes ecosystems, biodiversity, natural resources, etc.
Overconsumption and over-exploitation of resources, overpopulation of humans, global warming, pollution, deforestation, etc have caused damages that are irreversible now. We have exploited the planet to an extent where it’s impossible to rectify the damage we have caused.
Speaking about my personal opinion, this year seems to be a punishment to the human species for all the harm we have caused to nature and the environment since the day of our existence. We have hurt the nature, animals, birds, plants, and even our fellow human beings, and this devastating situation right now, feels like we’re repaying for it.
We have killed a countless number of animals and birds just to satisfy our hunger even when we can live without eating them, we have killed animals for the sake of wearing good clothes, we have killed animals just to pursue our hobby of hunting, we have cut down trees so that we can make paper and write ‘save trees’ on them, we have caused air pollution so that we don’t sweat, we have exploited natural resources like petroleum just for the sake of our laziness, we have destroyed forests for the purpose of making luxurious cities, we have damaged the water bodies because we can’t even throw garbage in a bin.
And we happen to be the ‘best creation of God’ and also the smartest species to ever exist on this planet.
Is the development and smartness of any use if the planet is no more able to sustain us? It feels like nature took everything in its hands and decided to punish us from all possible aspects and started to heal itself by confining us to our houses.
Nature has bounced back as we are locked inside our homes. The world has seen a significant positive change in the environment with many countries experiencing a fall in carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide of as much as 40%. With the minimum use of cars on the road, it seems to be a piece of potential good news for the climate as oil happens to be the biggest source of carbon emissions. Not just this, but the flora and fauna have also received a big positive change.
The World and its people are suffering and facing the worst of times, but the planet earth seems to be relieved.
How many of you remember that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the earth was facing another crisis- the environmental crisis?
Amid the lockdown, social distancing and quarantine, people across the globe have noticed drastic changes in the environment. People have reported that they can now see the sky clearer and can breathe better due to decreasing pollution levels.
According to a CNBC report, Clear water is seen in Venice’s canals due to less tourists, motorboats and pollution, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Venice, Italy. People have also noticed fishes and dolphins in the venice’s canals after many years.
Recent satellite images from NASA of China also showed less air pollution amid the country’s economic shutdown, due to less transportation and manufacturing, says a CNBC report.
The coronavirus pandemic has surely resulted in a huge loss of lives and economy, but on the other hand the animals and the nature are enjoying their days while the humans are locked in their homes.
In the waters of the Bosphorus, dolphins are these days swimming near the shoreline in Turkey’s largest city Istanbul with lower local maritime traffic and a ban on fishing.
Humans getting a photoshoot was too mainstream before the lockdown and that is why have a look at this happy Red Panda posing.
This picture clearly depicts how the sheeps are enjoying grazing while no human is around to litter the land.
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With the lockdown in force, most zoos and parks are now closed and that is why animals are now getting the privacy they wanted. You can see how happy the two pandas are while there is no disturbance.
Well, this is a rare happening, to find sea lions on a street. The only unchanged thing about the sea lions in this photo is their laziness.
When was the last time an aerial photo of a sea or water body looked so clean and greenish? Well, let the water bodies breathe until the humans are adhering to the quarantine rules.
Before the lockdown, there was a time when these flamingos couldn’t enjoy in the pond because of the noise and environmental pollution by people visiting the pond in Navi Mumbai
Why should only humans go out for a walk to refresh themselves amid the pandemic? Pretty sure the pelicans must be thinking the same while posing for the pictures in the park.
Well before the lockdown and the pandemic, the Ganga and Yamuna river were mostly known for the pollution. But now, as people haven’t been moving out of their houses, the rivers are now cleaner and even more pure.
With lesser pollution, flowers and plants are now blooming even more.
The question now being raised in the minds of environmental experts is that how long will this positive effect of Coronavirus pandemic last on the environment? Is it all temporary? Most experts believe that once the lockdown is lifted across all countries, humans may resume their normal lives and hence we will again face the environmental crisis.
It’s now “our” decision to preserve the environment and the wildlife!
Interacting with a therapy dog for couple of minutes may help lower stress in physicians and nurses working in emergency departments, say researchers.
A therapy dog is a dog that is trained to provide affection, comfort and support to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, libraries or disaster areas.
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“Many healthcare workers and laypersons believe that dog-assisted support can improve emotional well-being in the healthcare setting, but little hard data exist to scientifically evaluate this belief, especially in emergency care,” said lead author Jeffrey A Kline from the Indiana University in the US.
In the 122-participant study, published in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine, emergency providers randomised to a five-minute interaction with a therapy dog and handler.
The research found that emergency providers had a significant reduction in self-reported anxiety using a visual analogue scale compared with patients randomised to colouring mandalas for five minutes with coloured pencils.
Also, at the end of the shift, emergency providers had lower salivary cortisol (a stress hormone) with either colouring or therapy dog interactions compared with controls.
“We provide novel data to suggest that emergency care providers enjoyed seeing a dog on shift, and received a small benefit in stress reduction after the interaction. We still do not know the extent to which the benefit was from the dog, the handler, or the combination of the two,” Kline added. (IANS)