Monkeys Use Brain in New Ways

If you’ve watched the news lately, you might have seen the report where two monkeys controlled a robotic arm with their minds to feed themselves. (It didn’t take two monkeys to control one arm. Each monkey controlled its own robo-arm to feed itself pieces of marshmallow or fruit.) How You Get a Monkey to Control a Robotic Arm with It’s Mind As you might imagine, it was a complicated process. Using “visualization” techniques, the study’s leader, Andrew Schwartz, showed the monkeys what he wanted them to do. Then he “mapped” their neural activity to see what cells reacted in which … Continue reading

Animal Folktales: The Greedy Monkey

There are many variations of this folktale out there… but this is the version I remember. Stories tend to grow and change and evolve as they are told — that’s part of the wonder of the oral tradition. A hunter set out a simple trap: a glass bottle filled halfway with berries. Along came a slender, graceful crane and a shaggy, playful monkey. They saw the bottle of berries and both wanted some. “Let me use my long beak to get the berries,” Crane said. She reached into the bottle and carefully pinched a berry in the tip of her … Continue reading

Monkeys Going to Mars

Monkeys from the Sochi Institute of Medical Primatology in Russia are being prepared to boldly go where no one has gone before — Mars. Why monkeys? Humans and monkeys have approximately the same sensitivity to radiation. The macaques from the Sochi Institute will give a more accurate picture of how humans will react to the conditions on a flight to Mars. The Sochi Institute will spend the next few years performing experiments in order to select forty monkeys with the right stuff for space flight. Those forty monkeys will graduate to the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow. At the … Continue reading

My Favorite Pet Blogs from the Past Year

Below is a list of my favorite articles I wrote during the past year, often with an explanation of what made them memorable. Five Non-Cash Ways to Help Animals/Shelters this Holiday Season: This was my first article to have a comment left on it. Is It Ever Okay to Kick a Dog?: This was my first article to ever get stars. The BMK Fund: This practice is very near and dear to my heart and it was neat to have a platform such as blogging for to share it on. How to Put Your Shopping Dollars to Work Helping … Continue reading

The Pets Blog Week in Review for May 28-Jun 3

Submitted once again for your reading pleasure is the Pets Blog Week in Review. As usual, it’s your one stop shop to find the articles Aimee and myself covered from May 28 to June 3. Monday, May 28 Sometimes dogs and cats (especially puppies and kittens) get curious and stick their heads in places they can’t easily get back out of. Pet First Aid: When His Head Gets Stuck addresses how to help them get unstuck. Tuesday, May 29 (Um, this next one was supposed to get posted on Monday, for Memorial Day, but I goofed on getting it submitted … Continue reading

Remembering Animals Who Served Our Country: Abel and Baker

Happy Memorial Day! A few months back, my husband and I took a trip down to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. One of the exhibits told about two rhesus monkeys, Abel and Baker, who were the first animals to successfully be recovered after a launch into space. I knew when I saw this exhibit that I was going to write about them in the Pets Blog, but I decided to save it for May 28, because it was on May 28, 1959 when they made their historical journey. (An altitude of 300 miles for a distance … Continue reading