Ag­ing bono­bos could use glasses too: Study

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -

Just like hu­mans who rely on read­ing glasses when they age, older wild bonobo apes can ben­e­fit from mag­ni­fy­ing eye­wear, new re­search shows. Bono­bos-among the closest pri­mate rel­a­tives to hu­mans-be­gin show­ing symp­toms of far-sight­ed­ness when they reach 40 years old, ac­cord­ing to re­search re­cently pub­lished in the jour­nal Cur­rent Bi­ol­ogy. “We were sur­prised that the pat­tern found in bono­bos is strik­ingly sim­i­lar to the pat­tern in mod­ern hu­mans,” He­ungjin Ryu of Ky­oto Univer­sity’s Pri­mate Re­search In­sti­tute said. Re­searchers us­ing dig­i­tal pho­to­graphs found the range at which the pri­mates preen each other in­creases ex­po­nen­tially with age, im­ply­ing that their eye­sight wors­ens over time.

Just like el­derly peo­ple hold­ing news­pa­pers at arm’s length, ag­ing bono­bos stand back to bet­ter spot in­sects and twigs on their friends. “The re­sults we found were very sur­pris­ing even for us,” Ryu said. “When I started to col­lect data, I did not ex­pect that age could be such a strong pre­dic­tor of longsight­ed­ness.” The find­ings sug­gest that dif­fi­culty see­ing up­close is not nec­es­sar­ily a mod­ern af­flic­tion re­sult­ing from too much screen time or read­ing, but a ge­net­i­cally deep-rooted ef­fect of ag­ing. Ag­ing pat­terns in hu­mans and bono­bos do vary in other ways, how­ever. As peo­ple grow older, their ears get longer, while bono­bos’ re­main un­changed.— AFP

TAFOUGHALT, Morocco: A gen­eral view shows so­lar pan­els that are con­nected to a gen­er­a­tor which feeds a pump ex­tract­ing wa­ter from un­der­ground in Tafoughalt, a lit­tle vil­lage deep in the moun­tains of Morocco’s east­ern Berkane prov­ince. — AFP

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