in the Family Tree by John Tuxill, Staff Researcher World Watch
Magazine. As the human population continues its unprecedented expansion,
the populations of more than half of the world's other primates continue
their unprecedented decline. Will our demographic explosion amount to a
death sentence for our closest relatives?
19-12-99: Il convegno MEASURING
BEHAVIOR 2000 (3rd International Conference on Methods and Techniques
in Behavioral Research) si terrà a Nijmegen, The Netherlands
nei giorni 15-18 August 2000: Siamo al second announcement.
PhD research positions are now available for primatologists in
the fields of genetics, neurobiology and behaviour and reproduction, with
a maximum duration of 3 years. Candidates will have an above-average degree
in biology, veterinary medicine, medicine or agricultural sciences and
be no older than 28 years. Enquiries and applications including the usual
details should be addressed to the Speaker of the Programme (address below).
deadline is 15.01.2000.
A series of workshops is being organised for Monday the 27th. Each
of these will be run by two eminent primatologists, and topics will be
in the areas of Development,
Ecology and Sociality, Genetics and Evolution, Cognition and Social
Complexity, the Use of Primates as Research Models, and Simian Viruses.
The venue for these workshops will be announced later. During the following
two days a total of fourteen to sixteen talks will be given by invited
speakers at the Meeting Rooms of The Zoological Society of London in Regents
Park. The main themes will be: Ecology and Conservation, Reproduction and
Mating Systems, Evolution and Biology, and Cognition and Conflict.
The local organising committee for the conference is Bertrand Deputte
(France), Hilary Box (UK), Ann MacLamon (UK), Hannah Buchanan-Smith (UK)
together with the invaluable assistance of both the President of the EFP
Paul Winkler (Germany) and of the Primate Society of Great Britain, Phyllis
Lee. Members of the advisory committee also include Fernando Colmenares
(Spain) and Augusto Vitale (Italy).
10-12-99:Primate Society of Great Britain's website has moved
to a new URL. You can now access it at: http://www.psgb.org.
The site has been redesigned so it should be a little easier to get around
but please let me know if there are any problems. It contains information
about the society and the various meetings we organise. There are also
new application forms for the PSGB conservation grants and other bits of
9-12-99: Da Promed
mail (global electronic reporting system for outbreaks of emerging
infectious diseases): Congo DR: New
haemorrhagic fever cases suspected: Two new suspected cases of
haemorrhagic fever were reported during the second week of November 
in Province Orientale, a WHO official told IRIN on Tuesday. Both victims,
one in Durba
and the other in Watsa, have died. Some 60 people were estimated to have
died of haemorrhagic fever, linked to the Marburg virus, in the Durba area
between November 1998 and May 1999.
PubCrawler is a free "alerting" service that scans daily upda
tes to the NCBI Medline (PubMed) and GenBank databases. PubCrawler
can keep scientists informed of the current contents of Medline and GenBank,
by listing new database entries that match their research interests. PubCrawler
searches the NCBI PubMed (Medline) and Entrez (GenBank) databases daily
using search parameters (keywords, author names, etc.) specified by the
user. There is no limit on the number of searches that can be carried
out. Previous search hits are stored and only the newest PubMed or
GenBank records are shown each day. The results are presented as
an HTML Web page, similar to the results of an NCBI PubMed or Entrez query.
This Web page can be located on our computer (the PubCrawler WWW-Service),
on your computer (the stand-alone program), or you can receive it via e-mail
(set this up using the PubCrawler WWW-Service). The Web page sorts the
results into groups of PubMed/GenBank entries that are zero-days-old, 1-day-old,
2-days-old, etc., up to a user-specified age limit. Info
27-11-99: BETHESDA, MARYLAND--For the first time in the history
of the AIDS epidemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened
a public meeting to discuss a proposed HIV
vaccine experiment in chimpanzees. The reason for the extra scrutiny:
The test involves giving the animals a strain of the virus that quickly
destroys their immune systems and possibly even causes disease. [Message
posted on Primate-Science list]
24-11-99: Presso il Deutsches Primatenzentrum (Kellnerweg, Goettingen
FRG) è stato costituito The European Primate Information System
(EPIS); it is an internet forum currently being built up in
order to intensify the exchange of information between scientists or institutions,
to accomplish an optimal use of resources, to avoid redundant investigations
and to optimize the sharing of technology, methods, know-how and equipment,
and last but not least to reduce the number of primates required for research.
For this reason an internet server was programmed to store the offers and
requests of potential users for animals, tissues, methods etc. in a self-sustaining
data base. The inputs are sent via e-mail to the subscriber immediately
and can also be accessed as interactive server pages with all common internet
browsers. EPIS will be accessible on three security levels controlled via
password and user-ID with each level providing different degrees of access.
The user submitting data can declare the level of access for his input.
Participation in the system is free of charge. EPIS is currently
being designed on behalf of the EUPREN (European Primate Resources Network)
and funded by the EU (DG XI). A beta-version will be ready for testing
in the fall of 1999 so that, early in 2000, EPIS will be accessible. If
you are interested in being informed, when the beta-version becomes available
or if you need additional information, please contact Dr.
Michael Schwibbe: Deutsches Primatenzentrum Kellnerweg 4 D - 37077
Goettingen FRGermany Tel.: (+)49 551 3851 120 Fax: (+)49 551 3851 103
22-11-99 WASHINGTON (AP) --Mandara,
a 17-year-old lowland gorilla, gave birth for the fourth time --
in public, in full view of a very surprised crowd. Her guardians couldn't
be more delighted. "Gorillas choose to give birth where they feel most
comfortable," says Lisa Stevens, curator of the gorilla exhibit at the
National Zoo. "Obviously, Mandara is very used to human visitors." The
baby was born Saturday. Mandara is on loan from the Milwaukee County
Zoo, and the first-time father, 16-year-old Kuja, belongs to the Brookfield
Zoo, near Chicago.
Light On The Origin Of Primate Color VisionResearchers at the
University of Chicago have found evidence that trichromatic or full
color vision originated in prosimians, a group of lemurs, Bush Babies and
pottos rather than in higher primates, pushing the origin of primate color
vision back roughly 20 million years. Previously it was thought that
color vision first evolved in the common ancestor of higher primates about
35-40 million years ago. The new research pushes the origin of color vision
in primates back to about 55 million years ago. Wen-Hsiung Li, Ph.D.,
professor of ecology & evolution at the University and his postdoctoral
fellow Ying Tan, Ph.D., published their findings in the November 4 issue
of Nature. Vedi anche Eurekalert
dell'universita' di Chicago
10-11-99: Oklahoma, Nov. 10 — An obscure state committee
has voted to require that all new biology textbooks carry a disclaimer
is a “controversial theory” after one member said not enough attention
is paid to alternate xplanations of how life began. This summer the Kansas
Board of Education passed new testing standards, minimizing the importance
of evolution. And last month, Kentucky’s
Education Department deleted the word “evolution” from its standards.
9-11-99: Il Prof.re Robert D. Martin dell’Università di Zurigo
terrà due seminari nell’aula Monod a Palazzo Campana (a Torino)
giovedì 18 Novembre 1999.
Ore 9.00: "New light on the problem of phylogenetic relatedness
in comparative studies"
Ore 15.00: "The Barbary macaque as a model for primate conservation
genetics using DNA markers"
7-11-99: CNN Unlawful
logging threatens Indonesia's largest protected forest. One
of Indonesia's largest remaining tracts of forest, though officially protected
by the government,faces a growing threat from rampant unlawful logging,
local conservationists say. At Gunung Leuser National Park in Northern
Sumatra, lushly forested mountains and swamps cover nearly a million hectares,
an area the size of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Local
wood processing companies pay desperate men without jobs to steal timber
from the park. Encroaching farmers clear the forest to plant crops. One
piece at a time, the forest disappears. C'e' pure un filmato!
Primate Physiological Data NeededThe National
Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR),
and the Wisconsin Regional Primate Center are involved in a joint effort
to establish and expand a computerized database (Primate Aging Database)
for biomarkers of aging in nonhuman primates. The Primate Aging Database
will be a useful resource to primate researchers and veterinarians, for
aging research, as well as for clinical applications (e.g., establishing
blood normative values with age). We wish to locate researchers at various
primate research centers who may have useful, available data to contribute
to the database. the present time, we are interested in obtaining hematology
and blood chemistry measures on healthy, "normal" (i.e., control), aging
animals. We also are particularly interested in data from shorter-lived
If you may have physiological data on aging primates
to potentially contribute to the Primate Aging Database, please contact
Dr. Mark Lane or Dr. Darlene Smucny at National Institute on Aging, National
Institutes of Health Animal Center, P.O. Box 56, Building 103/1B04, Poolesville,
Maryland 20837, USA; 301.496-9416 (voice); 301.480.0504 (FAX). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com. [Text taken from http://night.primate.wisc.edu/pin/smucny.html]
6-11-99: da Science del 5-11 un articolo di Kaessmann, H.,
Wiebe, V. and P 1999 del Max Planck
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Extensive
nuclear DNA sequence diversity among chimpanzees. Science 286(5442):1159-1162:
chimpanzee genome project is way behind the Human Genome Project, so little
surprises are not unexpected. Recent analysis of chimp DNA from the X chromosome
reveals a few such surprises. For example, chimps appear to have a genetic
diversity that is nearly four times greater than that of humans. Also,
different subspecies of chimps are more alike genetically than previously
believed. This would mean that behavioral differences in separated populations
of chimps are probably not due to genetic differences. Finally, the work
suggests that bonobos and chimpanzees are closer cousins than primatologists
suspected. See also Kaessmann et al Nature Genetics 22: 78 (1999) and the
GenBank entries with accession numbers AJ270061-AJ270095, AJ241023-AJ241093
which are the raw data. This 10Kb of non-coding DNA was so highly conserved.
It seems it mutates about 30 times slower than primate mitochondrial DNA.
If it is representative of nuclear DNA, it shows that humans are more than
99% identical to chimpanzees at the nucleotide level, and thus likely to
be much more than 99% identical to chimpanzees at the amino acid sequence
level (because many mutations are silent). Also noted, is that human genetic
diversity is far less than chimpanzee genetic diversity. Apparently
humans went through a genetic bottleneck and we are all descended from
a small population not too long ago.
of LanguageParis April 3-6, 2000 Ecole Nationale Superieure
des TelecommunicationsParis - France. Deadline for papers:
15 november. This will be the third conference
in a series concerned with the evolutionary emergence of speech.
From a wide range of disciplines, we seek to attract researchers willing
to integrate their perspectives with those of modern Darwinism. The aim
is to bring together linguists, computer scientists, anthropologists, palaeontologists,
ethologists, geneticists, neuroscientists, and other scientists who are
concerned with the question of the origin and evolution of language.
CONFIRMED INVITED SPEAKERS: Frans B. M. de Waal (Emory University),
Bernd Heine (Universitat zu Koln), Ray Jackendoff (Brandeis University),
Paul A. Mellars (University of Cambridge), Sue Savage-Rumbaugh (Georgia
State University), Herbert Terrace (Columbia University), Michael Tomasello
(Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology).
4-11-99: Sono disponibili il programma e gli abstracts del prossimo
Winter meeting del PSGB (1 dic 99: Meeting Rooms of the Zoological
Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY) dedicato a Mating
& Social Systems of Old world Monkeys
Serie di congressi di livello internazionale prossimamente a Kyoto, dal
16 al 22 novembre; presso il Primate
Research Institute of Kyoto University, City of Inuyama, JAPAN; si
comincia il 16/17 con il congresso del SAGA (Support for African/Asian
Great Apes), si continua il 18/20 con il COE (Center of Excellence)
symposium dal titolo EVOLUTION
OF THE APES AND THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN BEINGS (a cui sono stati invitati
anche alcuni ricercatori europei: S.Paabo, P.Coppens, L.Aiello) e si chiude
poi (21/22) con la riunione del CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist
Group). Qualcosa (poco) di questi congressi, anche se non ci si va (a quello
del SAGA, se interessa, non ci sono nemmeno quote di iscrizione, e chiunque
può assistere...) lo si può gustare anche da casa. Ci sono
infatti in rete gli abstracts
del COE meeting, che possono essere visti anche come
un unico file. Negli intevalli si può andare a visitare le pagine
web di Ai
(cercheranno di insegnarle anche il giapponese?).
The purpose of this COE symposium is threefold. Firstly,
it aims to combine the various disciplines such as Ecology, Sociology,
Ethology, Psychology, Neural and Molecular Biology, Physical Anthropology,
and Paleontology to illuminate the evolution of the apes and the origin
of human beings. Secondly, it aims to provide a rare opportunity for exchange
of information and discussion among leading scientists from various disciplines
with Primatology. Thirdly, it aims to promote future scientific collaboration
between Japanese and other researchers of apes and humans from around the
world. Participants are asked to contribute a paper describing her/his
major research topic reviewing past and present trends plus her/his thoughts
about its future directions.
SAGA is a non-profit organization founded in 1998. This
will be its second international meeting for research, conservation, and
animal welfare on the African and Asian Great Apes. Most of the ape researchers
working in Japan as well as zoo people, conservationists, and others will
join the meeting. This SAGA2 meeting on November 16 th and 17th will have
three symposia (Future of chimpanzees in Japan, Animal welfare and environmental
enrichment of captive apes, and Wild-life conservation of apes), and the
poster session shared with the COE meeting. Birute Gardikas will have a
plenary talk in the evening of 17th. Please contact Tetsuro Matsuzawa,
the person in charge of this satellite meeting at matsuzaw@.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp.
hold a preparatory meeting for the Bonobo PHVA (Population and Habitat
Viability Assessment) workshop to be held in Kinshasa sometime in the near
future. The bonobo researchers who were invited to the COE symposium are
expected to join this satellite meeting. The persons in charge of this
satellite meeting are Norman Rosen and Takeshi Furuichi. Please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
NB: Prima di lasciare [le pagine web di] Inuyama,
qualcuno potrebbe essere interessato a verificare l'offerta di un
posto di visiting professor al CHEMR (Center for Human Evolutionary
Modeling Research): The CHEMR is now seeking applications for
the position of Visiting Professor/Associate Professor at the Section of
Behavioral Development. The object of the Professor/Associate Professor
position is to carry out research on behavioral development and personality
formation in primates from the biological perspective. The successful candidate
will be expected to contribute to teaching at the professional and graduate
levels. The Closing Date for Applications: Dec. 6, 1999. Date of Employment:
Effective April 1, 2000, start date optional (?? chi opta?). Period
of Employment: From 3 months to 3 years, optional (!! chi opta?).
2-11-99: JAPAN: Nuove più rigide regolamentazioni per
l'importazione in Giappone di primati dai paesi del terzo mondo dall'anno
prossimo: The sources said importers are required to submit
certificates from the nation of origin stating that the monkeys have been
quarantined and do not possess Ebola and Marburg viruses. Japan imported
4,300 monkeys from 18 nations last year. Sixty percent to 70 percent of
the animals were from Asian nations, 20 percent to 30 percent from South
America and 10 percent from Africa. It is believed that 70 percent of the
monkeys were used for lab experiments and the rest as pets. In 1993, four
people in the same family in Kanagawa Prefecture contracted dysentery from
their pet monkey. A survey said 30 percent of imported monkeys are contaminated
with dysentery amoebas.