AssociazionePrimatologica Italiana:
Primatological NetNewssince 1997
Text in italics comes from the linked available web pages
  • APINN N.36 --Marzo - Aprile 2003 -
  • siamo nel 6' anno... - qui ci sono i 35 FILE PRECEDENTI

    • 2-5-03ScientistsBriefly Reverse Brain-Cell Aging Drugs Temporarily Make Old Visual BrainCells Act Young in Animal Tests. New research suggests thatby boosting levels of a brain chemical to squelch excess transmission ofnerve signals, doctors someday may be able to help elderly people by reversingbrain-cell aging that can cause declines in vision, hearing, memory andother cognitive and motor skills. In a study of monkeys in the May 2 issueof the journal Science, scientists from the University of Utah and fromChina report they were able to reverse age-related deterioration of nervecells in the brain's visual cortex for several minutes when the researchersadministered a neurotransmitter named GABA or a similar chemical namedmuscimol. "The ramifications of this are to correct brain degradation inthe elderly. That is significant to every human being," says AudieLeventhal, chief  author of the study and a professor of neurobiologyand anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

    • 1-5-03: Il caffèminaccia le foreste indonesiane: Molte specie animali e vegetalisarebbero in pericolo di estinzione. 

    • Timothy O’Brien, ecologo della WildlifeConservation Society (WCS), lancia un grido di allarme: il mercatointernazionale del caffè, con i suoi prezzi non regolamentati, rischiadi minacciare l’esistenza di preziose foreste nell’isola indonesiana diSumatra.
      In un articolo pubblicato sulla rivista “Science”, O’Brien e lacollega Margaret Kinnaird descrivono la crisi come parte di un problemapiù ampio, che coinvolge tutte le regioni del mondo dove si coltivail caffè. Anche se la richiesta da parte delle economie occidentaliè più alta che mai, ben poco del ricavato giunge nelle taschedei coltivatori. Per esempio, gli Stati Uniti spendono ogni anni 70 miliardidi dollari in caffè, ma ai coltivatori giungono solo 5,5 milionidi dollari. Secondo lo studio, le nazioni più ricche e in particolaregli Stati Uniti, il più grande consumatore mondiale di caffè,dovrebbero intervenire per armonizzare il mercato internazionale. L'articolodel WCS precisa che  Seventy percent of Lampung’s coffee productionoccurs inside and adjacent to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, oneof a few remaining strongholds of Sumatran tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses,all of which are declining due to fragmentation and loss of their foresthome. 
      Speciedi primati presenti nel BukitBarisan Selatan National Park: Agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis),Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus), Banded leaf monkey (Presbytis melalophos),Silvered leaf monkey (Trachypithecus cristatus), Long-tailed macaque (Macacafascicularis), Pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), Western tarsier(Tarsius bancanus). Impresionante l'elenco delle altre specieanimali presenti, fra cui tigri e rinoceronti

    • 26-4-03: Si è concluso il 73rdannual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologistsin Tempe, Arizona; come sempre, moltissima primatologia fra le 682 comunicazioni (cercando ' primate' dal databaseescono 253abstracts). Programma dellle sessionidel congresso. Volumecojmpleto con abstract delle comunicazioni e dei poster (1663KB).Gli italiani di solito non frequentano questo congresso, ma fra i 10 lavoripresenti dagli italiani (quasi tutti romani...) c'è anche un lavoroprimatologico (Patterns of variation of the internal architecture ofthe primate proximal femur).

    • 24-4-03: Festa per il pensionamento di LarryJacobsen, direttore del PrimateCenter Library and Information Service (importante punto di riferimentoinformativo per tutti i primatologi) del WisconsinPrimate Research Center (University of Wisconsin- -Madison). Dalle16 alle 19 a Madison (University Club, UW-Madison Campus, WI) .....

    • 22-4-03: L'analisi del cariotipo di una specie di Platirrina (Callicebuslugens, della famiglia Cebidae) riduce a 16 il numero minimo dicromosomi trovato fra i primati (prima era 20, sempre nel genere Callicebus).L'articolo uscirà prossimamente nel 3' fascicolo 2003 di Folia Primatologica:The Lowest Diploid Number (2n =16) yet Found in Any Primate: Callicebuslugens (Humboldt, 1811) Cibele R. Bonvicino et al., Rio de Janeiro) FoliaPrimatol 2003;74, 3

    • 22-4-03: Midlandmining expert to aid gorillas (By Campbell Docherty, BirminghamPost): The existence of gorillas in an African country is beingthreatened by the growing market for mobile phones - and a Midland miningengineer has been using his expertise to try and help secure the animals'future. The traditional home of lowland gorillas and elephants in the DemocraticRepublic of Congo is an area rich in tantalum, a mineral used to make componentsfor mobile phones, computer games consoles and other electrical goods.And as the appetite for the latest mobiles grows around the world, thearea is being overrun by miners and groups looking to cash in. So a Staffordshire-basedmining expert, backed by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, undertook a gruellingjourney to the war-torn African country to look for ways to protect therapidly dwindling colony of lowland gorillas. Kevin D'Souza, aged 32, principalmining engineer with Newcastle-under-Lyme consultants Wardell Armstrong,spent two weeks near the Kahuzi Biega National Park, a vast area of rainforestand mountains now controlled by warring military and militia factions.
    • 18-4-03: Thebushmeat crisis is emptying Africa's forests (ENN):  ....Tobe hunted sustainably, some ape species could lose no more than one memberper square kilometer every 20 years, but bushmeat hunters are annuallykilling 6,000 western lowland gorillas (from a total population of lessthan 100,000) along with 15,000 chimpanzees. Smaller primates windup on the table, too, with approximately 7.5 million red colobus monkeysbeing killed for food each year. "The numbers are just huge," Bennett said,especially when hoofed animals are taken into account: WCS estimates that28 million bay duikers are killed annually, as are 16 million blue duikers."And these are conservative figures."

    • "Areas that had been previously unexploited and unpopulated aresuddenly inundated, and every worker may bring 8 or 10 individuals whoare dependent on that salary," said Heather Eves, director of the BushmeatCrisis Task Force (BCTF), a consortium of more than 30 organizations andinstitutions formed in 1999 to address the looming problem. "This bringslots of people together who need to be fed, and the forests just open up."
      Logging roads have also allowed the influx of shotguns and steelcable for snares and have enabled hunters to carry more carcasses out ofthe forest. As a result, a burgeoning commercial bushmeat market now stretchesfar beyond the Congo Basin.

    • 17-4-03: NewWWF report shows how European banks contribute to the destruction of aforest jewel in Sumatra (Tesso Nilo forest) . Ina new reportpublished today, WWF shows how several European banks and companies havebeen contributing to the destruction of Tesso Nilo, one of the world'srichest rainforests, located on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The study,"ElephantForests On Sale", shows that already 64 percent - or 315,000 hectares- of the Tesso Nilo forest, one of the last refuges for the threatenedSumatran elephants and a unique centre of plant diversity, have been convertedinto vast industrial plantations since the middle of the 1980s. 

    • 14-4-04: Fra i vincitori del  '2003Goldman Environmental Prize' c'è OdighaOdigha (video),della Nigeria, che si è impegnato nella protezione delle forestedel Cross River al confine fra Cameroon e Nigeria, dove vive una varietàdi Gorilla (G.g.diehli) da tempo isolata rispetto alle altre zone di diffusione.OdighaOdigha, 46, a Nigerian forest activist and educator, is leading the campaignagainst devastating industrial logging in the forests of Cross River Statein southeastern Nigeria. These are the last 5% of remaining rainforestsin Nigeria and are home to 2,400 native forest communities comprising 1.5million people, the highest primate diversity on the planet—including theworld’s most endangered gorillas, and an estimated 20 percent of the world’sbutterfly species. 

    • Due anni fa il premio (una specie di Nobel per gli attivisti ambientali)fu vinto per l'africa da EugèneRutagarama (video),che difendeva i gorilla di montagna nel difficile momento in cui la zonaera affollata da eserciti in guerra. 
    • 14-4-03: EbolaHemorrhagic Fever in The Republic of the Congo - WHO Update 11.Asof Mon 14 Apr 2003, the Ministry of Health has reported 140 cases, including123 deaths, in the districts of Mbomo and Kelle in Cuvette Ouest Departement.13 of the cases are laboratory-confirmed and 127 are epidemiologicallylinked.

    • The most recent 9 reported cases lived in the same remote villageof Ndjoukou (in Kelle district) and occurred within the last 2 weeks. 12contacts have been identified in this village and are being visited ona regular basis by national Red Cross volunteers

    • 11-4-03: NUCLEAR TRANSFER: MisguidedChromosomes Foil Primate Cloning  (Gretchen Vogel) Whilegovernments debate how to prevent human reproductive cloning, it seemsthat nature has put a few hurdles of its own in the way. A  team (CalvinSimerly, Tanja Dominko, Christopher Navara, Christopher Payne, SaverioCapuano, Gabriella Gosman, Kowit-Yu Chong, Diana Takahashi, Crista Chace,Duane Compton, Laura Hewitson, and Gerald Schatten: Molecular Correlatesof Primate Nuclear Transfer Failures, Science Apr 11 2003: 297) reportson Science Magazine that in rhesus monkeys, cloning robs an embryo of keyproteins that allow a cell to divvy up chromosomes and divide properly.Unpublished data from this and other groups suggest that the same problemmay also thwart attempts to clone humansSimerly et al. studiedthe outcome of somatic and embryonic cell nuclear transfer in 716 rhesusmacaques oocytes. Although the nuclear transfers looked normal, the implantof 33 embryos in surrogates resulted in no pregnancies. To identify themolecular obstacles responsible for this failure, they used imaging andimmunochemical techniques to examine basic embryonic cell structures andproteins. DNA and microtubule imaging showed disarrayed mitotic spindleswith misaligned chromosomes. In addition, two of the key proteins involvedin spindle pole assembly and functioning — NuMA and HSET — were absentafter nuclear transfer (from Biomedcentral).

    • Nello stesso numero di Scienceun altro lavoro sui primati: ChromosomalSpeciation and Molecular Divergence--Accelerated Evolution in RearrangedChromosomes (Arcadi Navarro,  Nick H. Barton): Humans andtheir closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzees, differ in ~1.24%of their genomic DNA sequences. The fraction of these changes accumulatedduring the speciation processes that have separated the two lineages maybe of special relevance in understanding the basis of their differences.We analyzed human and chimpanzee sequence data to search for the patternsof divergence and polymorphism predicted by a theoretical model of speciation.According to the model, positively selected changes should accumulate inchromosomes that present fixed structural differences, such as inversions,between the two species. Protein evolution was more than 2.2 times fasterin chromosomes that had undergone structural rearrangements compared withcolinear chromosomes. Also, nucleotide variability is slightly lower inrearranged chromosomes. These patterns of divergence and polymorphism maybe, at least in part, the molecular footprint of speciation events in thehuman and chimpanzee lineages. 
    • 5-4-03:  Thailand Saturday, April 5, 2003. (AP Photo/ApichartWeerawong) Twomonkeys sit on the back of a pickup truck while being transported homeafter finishing their collecting coconuts in Chumporn province

    • 4-4-03:CatastrophicDecline of Africa's Apes: Gorilla e scimpanzé  rischianoseriamente di scomparire nell'arco di pochi decenni, decimati dal virusmortale di Ebola, oltre che per la distruzione del loro habitat. L'allarmeè stato lanciato sulle pagine di Naturedalla Wildlife Conservation Societysulla base di uno studio che smentisce precedenti rilevamenti che indicavanocome stabile le popolazioni di grandi primati nell'Africa equatoriale.Osservando la popolazione del Gabon, gli scienziati hanno riscontrato uncalodel 56 per cento nel numero dei gorilla dal 1983 al 2000. Un dato ancorapiù preoccupante se si pensa che questo paese è una tra lepoche aree incontaminate della Terra, conservando ancora l'80 per centodella originaria copertura boschiva. Per questo gli esperti del Wcs ritengonoche il declino delle grandi scimmie non sia ristretto al Gabon. Nella confinanteRepubblica del Congo e in paesi limitrofi con più alta densitàumana e maggiore deforestazione l'habitat è ancor più a rischio.Anni di guerra civile e le attività di estrazione del legno, hannofavorito il consumo locale della carne di animali selvatici, il "bushmeat",compresi gorilla e scimpanzé. Un'ulteriore minaccia è l'epidemiadi febbre emorragica di Ebola, esplosa dieci anni or sono, che secondoi ricercatori potrebbe aver danneggiato diecimila esemplari tra scimpanzée gorilla (recensione tratta daGalileo).Articolosu Nature

    • Unnuovo sito web gestito dagli autori del lavoro citato si occupa di Apese di Ebola: questo sito si trova l'articolooriginale e altro materiale, fra cui alcuni links interessanti suldeclino delle antropomorfe (EbolaInformation), fra cui anche il materiale presentato al recente workshopa Brazzaville e la mappadell'epidemia nei primati e nell'uomo. L'articolo originaleè eccezionalente accessibile anche in Nature.
      Altre informazioni e pubblicazioni si trovano nella pagina su Ebolanel sito di ECOFAC.Frai gravi danni conseguenti all'epidemia di Ebola, la scomparsa di due gruppidi Gorilla abituati alla presenza umana e quindi utilizzati per sostenerel'economia della zona con le visiteturistiche: Deux des familles manquantes avaient étéhabituées pour le tourisme de vision de gorilles. Ces primates étaientles premiers gorilles de plaine en Afrique centrale à avoir jamaisété habitués et généraient des revenussignificatifs pour les villageois. Le sanctuaire de Lossi avait étécréé à la demande des villageois quand ils ont réaliséque les revenus à long terme du tourisme de vision étaientde loin supérieurs aux bénéfices à court termeprocurés par la chasse. La disparition de ces gorilles est une énormeperte pour ces populations.Tutto da rifare.

    • 4-4-03: EbolaHemorrhagic Fever in the Republic of the Congo - WHO Update10. As of Wed 2 Apr 2003, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of theCongo has reported 135 cases, (13 laboratory-confirmed and 122 epidemiologicallylinked), including 120 deaths in the districts of Mbomo and Kelle in CuvetteOuest Departement; 34 contacts are being followed up. Since the WHO UpdateNo.9, which covered the period up to Sun 23 Mar 2003, the number of casesof Ebola fever has increased by 12 from 123 (13 laboratory confirmed) to135 (still only 13 laboratory confirmed) and the number of deaths by 7,from 113 to 120. The number of contacts being followed up, however, hasdeclined from 79 to 34, which suggests that the outbreak may be comingunder control.

    • 4-4-03: E' in via di chiusura in Israele la primate breeding factorydi Manzor, che produceva primati esportati soprattutto in Ingiilterra perla ricerca biomedica. Il ministero dell'Ambiente ha infatti racomandatoalla locale commissione CITES di non fornire permessi di importazione edesortazione di primati. La notizia è comparsa su Lab Animal Europenel numero di aprile 2003.

    • 3-4-03: E' disponibile, consultabile on line nel sito della NAPlaseconda edizione del volume NutrientRequirements of Nonhuman Primates: Second Revised Edition (2003,308 pp.), curato dal Committee on Animal Nutrition, Ad Hoc Committee onNonhuman Primate Nutrition, National Research Council. This new releasepresents the wealth of information gleaned about nonhuman primates nutritionsince the previous edition was published in 1978. With expanded coverageof natural dietary habits, gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology, andthe nutrient needs of species that have been difficult to maintain in captivity,it explores the impact on nutrition of physiological and life-stage considerations:infancy, weaning, immune function, obesity, aging, and more. The committeealso discusses issues of environmental enrichment such as opportunitiesfor foraging. 

    • NB: Nel sito della NAP utilizzandola parola chiave 'primates' escono altri 33 volumi consultabili on line...

    • 2-4-03: FossilTeeth Reveal Oldest Bushbabies, LorisesA small collectionof teeth and jaw fragments sifted from the Egyptian desert has providedthe earliest fossil evidence for one of the three major lines of primates.The tiny fossils offer evidence that the ancestors of bushbabies and lorisesappeared during the Eocene epoch that lasted from 55 million to 34 millionyears ago -- at least twice as early as previous fossils had shown. Thesefossils represent the oldest known “toothcombed” prosimians -- a groupthat also includes the lemurs of Madagascar. The other two primate groupsare anthropoids (monkeys, apes and humans), and tarsiers. The fossils werecollected on a 2001 expedition led by paleontologists from the EgyptianGeological Museum and Duke University, and are described in the March 27issue of Nature. The paper is co-authored by Erik Seiffert and Elwyn Simonsof the Duke Primate Center Division of Fossil Primates and Yousry Attiaof the Egyptian Geological Museum. Their research is supported by the NationalScience Foundation, the Leakey Foundation and the Egyptian Geological Surveyand Mining Authority.

    • 2-4-03: Sito web del FERN: FERNis a non-governmental organisation (NGO) created in 1995 by the World RainforestMovement. NGO representatives from different European countries make upour board and we work closely with many national and international NGOs.FERNpromotes the conservation and sustainable use of forests and respect forthe rights of forest peoples in the policies and practices of the EuropeanUnion. We co-ordinate several NGOnetworks and works co-operatively to achieve change. Currently, ourmain campaign areas are climate change, forest certification, export creditagencies, WTO & trade agreements, intergovernmental agendas, aid &development o-operation and rights of forest peoples. For more informationabout these issues visit our Campaignspage. 

    • 1-4-03: PapuaNew Guinea Groups Split with WWF Over Forests. Protests from fivePapua New Guinea environmental and legal groups have prompted the WorldWide Fund for Nature (WWF) to reconsider support for the controversialland mobilization policies of the World Bank and a proposed high levelforest summit on forest conservation. 

    • A leaked WWF South Pacific proposal revealed the organization wantedWorld Bank funding for a proposed forest summit aimed at building supportfor eco-forestry and better forest management in PNG, the Solomon Islandsand the Indonesian province of Papua, but intended to keep the source ofthe funding secret. The eight page memo proposed seeking funding from theWorld Bank’s Forests of Life program, which was jointly established withWWF five years ago. However, WWF proposed that the role of the World Bankreferred to by the acronym ‘WB’ should be invisible. 

    • 1-4-03:  Ebolathreatens Africa's lowland gorillas  Ebola fever, whichhas killed 114 of the 128 people who have caught it in the latest outbreak,threatens one of the last strongholds of the endangered lowland gorilla,the Zoological Society of London said yesterday. 

    • The disease is estimated to have killed between 600 and 800 westernlowland gorillas, almost 2/3 of the population in the Lossi sanctuary,south of Odzala national park in the Congo Republic. It has also killedan unknown number of chimpanzees -- see here
      The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says thousandsof great apes might have died in recent years. The disease was confirmedin north-west Congo in December [2002] when 6 gorillas from a family thathad been followed by researchers for 6 years were found dead. There remainsa danger that the virus, which has been in Congo and Gabon sporadicallyfor 5 or 6 years, will infect the Odzala population of 20 000 gorillas.It could cross again into neighbouring Gabon, another hotspot for gorillasand chimpanzees, said Jonathan Baillie, manager of a Zoological Societyof London project in Gabon. There are estimated to be about 80 000 westernlowland gorillas in Gabon and the Congo. They represent 80 percentof the world's gorilla population. Mr Baillie, a Canadian-born zoologist,said: "Ebola now combines with hunting for bushmeat and logging as a riskto the great apes."

    • 1-4-03: Global Witness è una ONG che svolge indaginie produce relazioni a sostegno delle sue iniziative che riguardano direttamenteo indirettamente problemi di conservazione di ambienti in cui vivono iprimati: Global Witness is one of few non-governmental investigativeorganisations working to expose the link between natural resource exploitationand human rights abuses. We operate in areas where environmentally destructivetrade is funding conflict or human rights violations. We collect the evidenceand use it to achieve long-term change. I suoi interessi non riguardanoinfatti solo la conservazionedelle foreste tropicali in Africa e in Asia (interessanti i linksad altri siti) , dato che si preoccupa anche dei conflitti africani legatial commercio dei diamanti(Africa Occidentale) e del petrolio(Angola). Interessanti i reports,tutti disponibili e utilizzabili per scopi di difesa dei diritti umanie dell'ambiente. Interessanti links:,,(dove si può scaricare il video "Illegallogging in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia" da 10MB), reports sulla distruzione delle foreste in Indonesia), Telapak(una NGO indonesiana; reportsin PDF nel sito), TheTimber Mafia (sito web complesso sul disboscamento in Kalimantan, gestitoda giornalisti australiani; ci sono anche videodi interviste a B.Galdikas e visite alla foresta, fotografiedi un viaggio attorno al Parco Nazionale di TanjungPuting, dove la foresta è stata trasformata in savana, e unamappainterattiva). L'Italia è uno dei paesi verso cui è direttoil commercio illegale del ramin,inserito dal 2000 nell'appendiceIII della CITES.

    • 31-4-03:Non e' il petrolio ma l'olio di palma che minaccia la sopravvivenzadegli oranghi in Indonesia e in Malesia. Sitoinformativo anche riguardo ai prodotti che derivano dalla distruzione delleforeste in cui vivrebbero gli oranghi.

    • 30-3-03: Nel sito web dell'AAPci sono le informazioni su un santuario per scimpanzè in via dicreazione vicino ad Alicante (Spagna). Stanno anche cercando qualcuno interessatoa dirigere i keepers. AAP sanctuary for exotic animals, is a Europeanshelter for exotic animals, situated in Almere in The Netherlands. Everyyear it provides a temporary 

    • home for hundreds of animals in need. AAP is in touch with naturereserves and reputable zoos all over the world and is currently home to130 primates, including chimpanzees. AAP is expanding its facilities toinclude a new permanent lifetime care centre for primates in Europe, Primadomus.This new facility is situated in a mountain area, about 10 km inland ofthe Costa Blanca, near Alicante in Spain, where the climate allows forexcellent primate housing conditions. At Primadomus we will be able toprovide permanent housing and care for primates within Europe, for exampleex-lab animals, confiscated illegal trade victims and rejected 'pet-monkeys'.Primadomusis currently being developed and will receive a group of ex-lab chimpanzeesat the end of 2003.

    • 29-3-03: Nel sito del bollettinoN.67 (febbraio 2003) del WorldRainforest Movement si racconta di uno scambiodi lettere fra Karl Amman e Wolfensohn,presidente della Banca Mondiale sul ruolo della Banca Mondiale rispettoal problema del controllo dello sfruttamento commerciale delle foreste,a cui è legato il declino di molte specie di antropomorfe in Africacentrale anche a causa dell'uso a scopo alimentare (bushmeat) chesi aggiunge alla distruzione dell'habitat. 

    • K.Amman denounces that in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)the World Bank appears to be on the front line of assisting with a proposedmassive reactivation of the forestry sector. According to Ammann, the projectionsoutlined by a World Bank expert, in an Aide Memoire, "are terrifying tosay the least, considering that we are looking at the remaining half ofthe Congo River Basin which has not been affected yet by industrial timbermining:
      - The opening up, in form of new logging concessions, of 60 millionhectares of primary rain forest. 
      - A projected annual extraction/mining of some 6-10 million cubicmeters, essentially doubling the output from the Central African region. 
      - An estimated annual 'surface rental tax' income of some U$ 60to 360 million. 
      - An annual industry turn over of some U$ 1-2 billion. Mostly ofcourse staying in form of profits in some off shore accounts. 
      - The creation of some 60,000 jobs. 
      How realistic are these projections in the context of the resultsbeing achieved --partially under World Bank supervision-- in any of thesurrounding countries? Bank officials are best placed to answer this questionand some more regarding the actual cost-benefits of logging of primaryrain forests. Based on the figures I have they are clearly a pipe dream.However pipe dreams put out officially by World Bank experts will makeany conservation effort --especially the creating of additional protectedareas-- a lot more difficult".
      Full texts available:
      - "An Open Letter to the World Bank President", 7 December 2002;
      - Response from Emmanuel Mbi, 24 January 2003
      - Reply from Karl Ammann, 24 February 2003
      Nelle lettere si cita una relazionedi K.Amman (1998) sulla caccia ai bonobo organizzata in zonedel Congo controllate da una ditta tedesca di estrazione di legname tropicale.Questa relazione si puo' trovare in italiano nell'interessante sito websui bonobo curato da Lisa Maccari:

    • 26-3-03: EvolutionExplains Why Chimps Beat us by a Nose  (Reuters Health) -Newresearch shows that humans' sense of smell is much less acute than thatof other primates. Just why we cannot sniff out scents as accurately asother mammals remains unclear, but the reason may stem from our gradualreliance on other senses to provide us with information, researchers suggest.And although modern humans must now rely on dogs to sniff out drugs andother contraband at airports, our early ancestors may have been capableof the job themselves, study author Yoav Gilad told Reuters Health. Inthe past, humans likely carried noses as keen as modern species with moreacute senses of smell, he said. People then probably lost that abilityover time. "Immediately after the separation of the human and chimpanzeespecies, they both had an identical sense of smell," Gilad explained. (SOURCE:Proceedingsof the National Academy of Sciences 2003;100:3324-3327)

    • 23-3-03: EbolaHemorrhagic Fever in the Republic of the Congo - WHO Update9- As of Sun 23 Mar 2003, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of theCongo has reported 123 cases, (13 laboratory-confirmed and 110 epidemiologicallylinked), including 113 deaths in the districts of Mbomo and Kelle in CuvetteOuest Departement [see: Ebola hemorrhagic fever - Congo Rep. (19) 20030314.0629].79 contacts are being followed up. The new team of 3 physicians and 7 nursesfrom the Ministry of Health and the Service de Sante des Armees was trainedin clinical management and safe burial practices last week. A mobile teamis visiting each village on the Entsiami-Kelle road weekly, carrying outcontrol activities and surveillance. Social mobilization activities involvingcommunity leaders are also continuing.

    • 18-3-03: The electronic edition of Volume 42, number 2, of the _Laboratory_Primate_Newsletter_will be sent on Wednesday to subscribers by list-server.  Studentsand others are encouraged to subscribe to this electronic edition, by sendingthe message subscribe LPN-L [Your Name] to URL for the Web edition is <>

    • 17-3-03: Creatorof world's largest rainforest preserve in Brazil dies. JoséMárcio Ayres, conservation biologist who protected peoplewhile preserving the Amazon, dies aged 49. José Márcio CorrêaAyres, a Brazilian zoologist who has been widely credited with saving theworld's largest swath of protected rain forest, died March 7 in New YorkCity. Ayres, who was 49, died of lung cancer. At the time of his death,Ayres served as senior conservation biologist at the Wildlife ConservationSociety, the global agency based at New York City's Bronx Zoo. But hismost noted accomplishments were in Brazil, near the confluence of the Solimões(Amazon) and Japourá Rivers. 
    • 17-3-03: The Republic of the Congo: Numberof Ebola Cases Now 120 with 108 Deaths: The latest officialfigures for the Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak, published  yesterday,are 120 cases and 108 deaths since January 2003, all in the Cuvette Ouest Departement, in the northwest of the Republic of the Congo.

    • Situazione politica sempre poco stabile da quelle parti: oggi un colpodi stato nella Repubblica Centrafricana, con annesso saccheggio, hamesso fine, dopo 6 altri tentativi, a 10 anni di potere del presidenteAnge Felix Patassé, temporaneamente in visita in Niger.

    • 16-3-03: Interessantissimo weblogsull'evoluzionismo.Si trovano info aggiornate curate da P.Cocciasu Darwin, Evoluzionismo e Darwinismo.
    • 15-3-03:Ledifferenze genetiche fra uomo e scimmia (News da Le Scienze). Articolipublicati sulla rivista “GenomeResearch” (Kelly A. Frazer, Xiyin Chen, David A. Hinds, P.V. KrishnaPant, Nila Patil, and David R. Cox: GenomicDNA Insertions and Deletions Occur Frequently Between Humans and NonhumanPrimates Genome Res. 2003 13: 341-346; Devin P. Locke, RichardSegraves, Lucia Carbone, Nicoletta Archidiacono, Donna G. Albertson, DanielPinkel, and Evan E. Eichler Large-Scale Variation Among Human and GreatApe Genomes Determined by Array Comparative Genomic Hybridization GenomeRes. 2003 13: 347-357; Ge Liu, NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, ShayingZhao, Jeffrey A. Bailey, S. Cenk Sahinalp, Can Alkan, Eray Tuzun, EricD. Green, and Evan E. Eichler Analysis of Primate Genomic VariationReveals a Repeat-Driven Expansion of the Human Genome Genome Res. 200313: 358-368) descrivono nuove scoperte che suggeriscono come la base geneticadelle differenze fra i primati umani e quelli non umani, come lo scimpanzè,consista nei riarrangiamenti genomici e non in singoli cambiamenti nelDNA. “Si tratta di una scoperta sorprendente e importante - afferma DavidCox, ricercatore della Perlegen Sciences, la società che haeffettuato lo studio - che getta luce sulle basi fondamentali delle differenzegenomiche strutturali fra l’uomo e gli altri primati. È un ottimopunto di partenza per migliorare la nostra conoscenza su cosa rende unicigli esseri umani”.

    • Precedenti analisi sulle differenza delle sequenze di DNA di uomoe scimpanzè avevano mostrato che le due specie sono approssimativamenteidentiche al 98,5 per cento. Si ritiene dunque che le grandi differenzebiologiche fra gli umani e gli altri primati dipendano dall’espressionedei geni. Finora si pensava che singoli cambiamenti nel genoma, e non grandiriarrangiamenti del DNA, fossero alla base di queste variazioni. “L’analisicomparativa del genoma di primati umani e non umani - commenta Kelly Frazer,principale autore della ricerca - è una tecnica utile per decifrarela funzione di specifiche regioni genomiche”. Il confronto del cromosoma21 umano con sequenze di DNA di scimpanzè e altri primati ha mostratoun significativo numero di riarrangiamenti casuali che distinguono il DNAumano da quello delle altre scimmie. Questo prova che i riarrangiamentisono avvenuti frequentemente durante l’evoluzione dei primati e che sonouna fonte significativa di variazione fra umani e scimpanzè.
      Dati simili erano stati presentati daR.Britten(Roy J. Britten: Divergencebetween samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5%, counting indels;PNAS 2002 99: 13633-13635) nell'ottobrescorso: Humans and chimps have 95 percent DNA compatibility, not98.5 percent, research shows 
      Genetic studies for decades have estimatedthat humans and chimpanzees possess genomes that are about 98.5 percentsimilar. In other words, of the three billion base pairs along the DNAhelix, nearly 99 of every 100 would be exactly identical. However, newwork by one of the co-developers of the method used to analyze geneticsimilarities between species says the figure should be revised downwardto 95 percent. (vedi notizia suLeScienze News)

    • 15-3-03: EbolaHemorrhagic Fever in the Republic of the Congo - WHO Update 8 -As of Fri 14 March 2003, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of theCongo has reported 118 cases, (13 laboratory-confirmed and 105 epidemiologicallylinked), including 106 deathsin the districts of Mbomo and Kelle in CuvetteOuest Departement.

    • 14-3-03: Al Denver Museum of Nature& science il 21/3 si apre la mostra "Discoveringchimpanzee, the remarkable world of J.Goodall". C'è un po'di materiale informativo sugli scimpanzè disponibile in rete (Unavisita a Gombe, ecc.) e anche linksad altri siti sugli scimpanzè. 
    • 13-3-03:Ebolavirus. Death Toll Reaches 100The deadly Ebola virushas killed 100 people in the remote forests of Congo Republic and wipedout nearly 2/3 of the gorillas in a reserve. "We have reached the fatefulfigure of 100 dead," Congo's Health Minister Alain Moka said on Tue 11Mar 2003 at a ceremony to accept donations to help fight the outbreak.The latest Ebola epidemic to hit the central African country struck inJanuary 2003 in the dense forest region of Cuvette-Ouest about 440 milesnorth of the capital Brazzaville. "The government has already spent 300million CFA francs (USD 507 000) to put in place the logistics needed tohelp stricken people but the state alone cannot help," Moka said. "We musthave the support of everybody and the international community." Monkeys,chimpanzees, and gorillas started dying in large numbers toward the endof 2002, and primatologists say the impact has been devastating on theLossipark in Cuvette-Ouest. At an Ebola conference in Brazzaville last week,primatologist Bermejo Magdalena told Reuters that gorillas had beendisappearing at an alarming rate where she works in the Lossi sanctuary,which covers 123 square miles. "In the sanctuary of about 1200 gorillaswe are now down to just 450 gorillas. We have recorded the disappearanceof 600 to 800 gorillas," she said, adding the outbreak could spreadto the nearby Odzala park and might then contaminate forests in Gabon."If Odzala is also contaminated by the epidemic, that's nearly 20 000gorillas under threat. That's very serious, catastrophic", she said.

    • 12-3-03: Chimpanzeeswith little or no human contact found in remote African rainforest: The Goualougo Triangle, nestled between two rivers in a Central Africanrain forest, is so remote that primate researchers who traveled 34 miles,mostly by foot, from the nearest village through dense forests and swamplandto get there, have discovered a rare find: chimpanzees that have had verylittle or no contact at all with humans. The chimpanzees' behavior whenfirst coming in contact with the researchers was a telltale sign of lackof human exposure -- the chimpanzees didn't run and hide.  DaveMorgan, a field researcher with the Wildlife Conservation Society,Republic of Congo, and Crickette Sanz, a doctoral candidate in anthropologyin Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, report theirstudy of "Naïve Encounters With Chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle"in the April 2003 issue of the InternationalJournal of Primatology. During two field seasons in the Goualougo Triangle(February-December 1999 and June 2000-June 2001), Morgan and Sanz encounteredchimpanzees on 218 different occasions, totaling 365 hours of direct observation.Their goal, as with other researchers at various field sites in Africa,was to directly observe the full repertoire of chimpanzee behavior, whichincludes eating meat, sharing food, grooming, mating and using tools, suchas large pounding sticks to break open bee hives and leaf sponges to gatherwater. 

    • During Morgan and Sanz's first five minutes observing individualchimpanzees at their field site, curiosity was the most common responsethe researchers recorded from 84 percent of the chimpanzees. The curiousresponses from the chimpanzees included staring at the human observers,crouching and moving closer to get a better view of them, slapping treetrunks or throwing branches down to elicit a response, and making inquisitivevocalizations. 
      Il progetto, iniziato 4 anni fa, è supportato dal ColumbusZoo e dal WCS. Quila mappa per orientarsi. 

    • 11-3-03: GOODNEWS FOR THE WORLD’S FORESTSGround-breaking projectsfrom the UK, Mexico, Tanzania and Malaysia lauded at the launch of a newforest partnership - Reviving deforested and degraded landscapes so thatthey benefit local communities is possible if we draw our inspiration fromdiverse forest restoration success stories around the world. Sharing theseon-the-ground examples is the motivation behind a new partnership launchedtoday in Rome by IUCN – The World Conservation Union, WWF, and theUnited Kingdom Forestry Commission. The initiative – known as the GlobalPartnership on Forest Landscape Restoration – will be a “meeting point”for governments, communities, organizations and others the world over whoare engaged or interested in restoration activities that pave the way forsustainable development. To bring the Forest Landscape Restoration approachto a broader audience, the Partnership has started the ForestRestoration Information Service (FRIS) at aims to provide an open-access internet information service to supportforest restoration projects world-wide; facilitate exchange of knowledgeand experience among forest restoration projects, and provide a basis foranalyzing factors determining success. Nel sito sono disponibili informazionie mappe delle coperture forestali e delle zone protette.

    • 7-3-03: FAO: FreshWater Supplies Depend on Healthy Forests  - (ENS) -Theloss of forest cover and conversion of forested land to other uses candegrade supplies of fresh water, threatening the survival of millions ofpeople and damaging the environment, finds a new study issued by the UnitedNations Food and Agriculture Organization. The study was published todayin advance of next weeks'  (10-14/3) annual meetingof the agency's Committeeon Forestry (COFO). The FAO's State of the World's Forests2003 report will be presented at the meeting, and participants will addressissues of forests and freshwater, a study on the future of forests in Africa,and a review of FAO programs in the forestry sector. Watershed conditionscan be best improved if forests are managed with human as well as hydrologicalgoals as a priority, says the FAO study, "Forestsand Freshwater - Issues and Options." 

    • A new entity, as yet unnamed, that links forests and water is proposedin the FAO Medium Term Plan 2004-2009,reflecting the importance the FAO accords to the conservation of waterresources.
      Nel sito altri documenti, fra cui: Thefuture of forests: implications of the Forestry Outlook Study for Africa

    • 6-3-03: CongoleseCooks Shun Bush Meat for Fear of Ebola BRAZZAVILLE, Congo, - Bushmeat vendors in Ouesso, the largest town in the Republic of Congo's regionof Sangha, have reported a sharp drop in sales due to consumers havingbeen frightened by the Ebola virus ravaging a nearby area, a market administratorsays. This situation has created new consumer patterns with people switchingto fish, beef or chicken, said Odi-Aya, a teacher in Ouesso. As of Wednesday,89 of the 110 people registered with Ebola in Cuvette-Ouest had died, theWorld Health Organization (WHO) reported. 

    • There had been an equally devastating impact on primates, PierreAgnangoye, the coordinator of project to protect the forest ecosystemsof Central Africa, said. "Of the 800 gorillas alive in the Odzala Packand the Lossi Sanctuary, just 200 are left," he noted. 

    • 5-3-03: GoldDiscovered Beneath Ghana's Forest Reserves  (ENS) - Dozensof bulldozers and excavators belonging to five multinational mining companiesoperating in Ghana are poised to tear apart thousands of hectares of forestreserves in the Ashanti, Western and Eastern Regions of the country, ifthe government gives them approval to haul out what they describe as richdeposits of gold beneath the forests. The forest reserves that the miningfirms are eyeing include the Subri River Forest Reserve, a globally significantbiodiversity area which is also the largest forest reserve in the countryand a critical watershed between major rivers such as the Bonsa and Pra. 

    • - “It is true that we have to preserve the forests,"  ministerof Mines Darko said, "but nature has also given us these resources to betapped and managed for development, so it is the way we go about it inorder not to offset the balance." “If we say we won’t allow them to minein the reserves, what signals are we sending to other investors? the ministerasked. "It means this is a country where investments are not secured, wherethere are a lot of uncertainties and by the stroke of the pen you can loseyour investments and monies. So we are at a crossroads and as a nationwhat do we do?" The minister said, “Some mining companies were given permitsto do prospecting in the reserves by the past administration. The ForestryCommission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and all the relevantstatutory bodies were party to it. The companies invested millions of dollarsand found gold deposits in commercial quantities in the reserves. Are wejustified morally in saying that these mining companies that invested moneyand discovered the gold should not go into the forest reserves again? Dowe have to leave those rich deposits of gold there in the ground whilstwe have a lot of problems on our hands such as poverty, underdevelopmentand unemployment?” Minister Darko asked. 
      - The miners, who spoke on condition of anonymity, say they discoveredstaggering volumes of gold deposits beneath the forests when the previousNational Democratic Council (NDC) government gave them free rein to scavengethe forest reserves for gold. But, they complain, the government did notkeep its promise to grant permits for exploitation of the gold they found.Now the NDC government is no more, the miners said, and we want the presentNew Patriotic Party (NPP) government to grant us permits to "throw outthe trees and the animals in the forest reserves" to make way for full-scalesurface mining operations. "Fact is, collectively we spent over 10 milliondollars in the reconnaissance and prospecting exercise, and we have torecoup our money,” the miners said. 
      - The environmentalists, who did not want their names used, worrysince the protected reserves are some of Ghana’s last relatively undisturbednatural forests. They support forest biodiversity and are critical to waterconservation, the environmental groups say. Granting of permits for surfacemining in these ecologically fragile reserves will aggravate the alreadyalarming rate of deforestation and forest degradation in the country andwreak havoc on freshwater systems and watersheds, they warn.

    • 5-3-03: SpecialFocus on COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. Nature Reviews Neuroscience announcesthat the March 2003 issue will include a FREE online focus on cognitiveneuroscience, featuring articles on memory, decision making, social cognition,visual processing, novelty and more.

    • 4-3-03: Republic of the Congo: EbolaCases Now Number 108 with 88 Deaths. Nearly 90 people have beenkilled by Ebola virus in the remote forests of the Republic of the Congosince the latest outbreak of the disease hit this central African countryjust over a month ago. Congo's Health Ministry said on Tue 4 Mar 2003 that88 people out of  the 97 who have so far contracted the disease havedied, and another 130 people suspected of contact with Ebola fever suffererswere under surveillance.  Ebola virus, which is passed on by infectedbody fluids, kills between 50 and 90 percent of its victims through massiveinternal bleeding, depending on the strain of the virus.

    • 4-3-03: The discovery of fossil remains of a Mioceneape (Lufengpithecus chiangmuanensis) from Thailand, an unsampledregion of Asia, adds complication to the long-debated story of the originof orangutans. (Yaowalak Chaimanee, Dominique Jolly, Mouloud Benammi, PaulTafforeau, Danielle Duzer, Issam Moussa & Jean-Jacques Jaeger: A MiddleMiocene hominoid from Thailand and orangutan origins ). Eccezionalmente,accesso libero all'articolocomparso in Nature 422, 61 - 65 (2003). Il reperto sarebbe datato 13-10Myr (milioni di anni fa). Interessante il ritrovamento di flora africanain quel periodo, che dimostrerebbe la presenza di un corridoio forestale,poi scomparso, che univa l'Africa all'Asia Orientale, cioè tuttele zone in cui attualmente sono presenti scimmie antropomorfe. 
    • 3/3/03:  [Da Sciencedaily]Recent work has emphasized the use of cross-species sequenceanalyses and expression profiling to identify gene regulatory sequencesin mammals. Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy'sJointGenome Institute (JGI) in Walnut Creek, Calif., and the Lawrence BerkeleyNational Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) havedeveloped apowerful new technique for deciphering biological information encoded inthe human genome..

    • Called "phylogenetic shadowing," this techniqueenables scientists to make meaningful comparisons between DNA sequencesin the human genome anD sequences in the genomes of apes, monkeys, andother nonhuman primates. With phylogenetic shadowing, scientists cannow study biological traits that are unique to members of the primate family.
      "Now that the sequence of the human genomehas almost been completed the next challenge will be the development ofa vocabulary to read and interpret that sequence," says Edward Rubin, M.D.,director of the JointGenome Institute (JGI) for the U.S. Department of Energy, and BerkeleyLab's Genomics Division, who led the development of the phylogenetic shadowingtechnique.
      "The ability to compare DNA sequences inthe human genome to sequences in nonhuman primates will enable us in someways to better understand ourselves than the study of evolutionarily far-distantrelatives such as the mouse or the rat," Rubin adds. "This is importantbecause as valuable as models like the mouse have been, there are manyphysical and biochemical attributes of humans that only other primatesshare."
      Using phylogenetic shadowing, Rubin andhis colleagues were able to identify the DNA sequences that regulate theactivation or "expression" of a gene that is an important indicator ofthe risk for heart disease and is found only in primates. The resultsof this research are reported in a paper published the February28 issues of the journal Science. Co-authoring the paper with Rubinwere Dario Boffelli, Dmitriy Ovcharenko, Keith Lewis and Ivan Ovcharenkoof Berkeley Lab, plus Jon McAuliffe and Lior Pachter, of the Universityof California at Berkeley. VISTAis a set of tools for comparative genomics. It was designed to visualizelong sequence alignments of DNA from two or more species with annotationinformation.

    • 3-3-03:L'Istitutodi Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione del C.N.R. ha svolto, sottol'egida del Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca(M.I.U.R.), un progetto scientifico/didattico dal titolo "Imparare adosservare: l'analisi critica del comportamento animale". Tale progettoha coinvolto 78 bambini e 7 insegnanti di due scuole elementari di Roma,"F. Ferraironi" e "Principessa Mafalda". L'obiettivo principale èstato quello di divulgare il metodo scientifico attraverso cui comprendereed analizzare la realtà, utilizzando i Primati non umani come modellodi indagine sperimentale. Il prodotto finale del progetto è statola realizzazione di un CD-Rom dal titolo "Viaggio nel mondo delle scimmie"e di un libro dal titolo "Esploriamo il mondo delle scimmie", destinatiai bambini ed agli insegnanti delle scuole elementari e medie, con l'obiettivodi fornire strumenti di lavoro ma anche di divertimento, che non trascurinogli aspetti motivazionali ed emozionali che concorrono sensibilmente alsuccesso formativo. la giornata di presentazione del progetto siterrà il giorno lunedi 17 marzo 2003 presso l'Auditoriumdel Bioparco di Roma. In quell'occasioneverranno distribuiti gratuitamente a tutti i partecipanti il CD-Rom edil libro sui Primati.
    • Chi (solo se socio API!) volesse anche un invio periodico di questeinformazioni (in un formato adatto alla posta elettronica) nella propriacasella postale (elettronica!) e' pregato di inviarmil'indirizzo ma soprattutto di richiedermi espressamente l'invio per e-mail(settimanalmente?) delle notizie con i links.
    • PS: i soci API che avessero verificato nell'elencosoci di conoscere qualche indirizzo di posta elettronica non presente,e' pregato di comunicarmelo, in modo da accelerare l'invio di informazioni. 
    • I soci API sono poi calorosamente invitati a inserire i propri dati nell'InternationalDirectory of Primatology e nella WorldDirectory of Primatologists. Attualmente ci sono 14 schede di sociAPI, 5 schede di altri primatologi italiani, e 8 strutture italiane diricerca primatologica. 
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