torsdag, november 10, 2005

Are sea birds (too) becoming too dumb to survive?

After I read an article about a new cure for inherited learning disabilities in mice (a common drug for cholesterol-lowering), I found in another scientific piece of news that birds have cognitive problems, too. These can be traced to environmental change, which has lead to malnutrition in chicks, which increases their stupidity, and lower their chance to survive through adaptions to the changes.
"It has been shown recently that brain size effects behaviour and can even influence population trends, so it would be expected that an increase in stupidity in some species would adversely affect their ability to perform their day-to-day activities.” http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8287

Comments: first it seems like they have found a cure for stupidity. That may save the world. If intelligence and plenty of well-functioning creatures was all that was needed to avoid disaster. Then you have to realize how many eco-nurses and brain development doctors it would take to administer the medication to all the mice, cock-roaches, elks, porpoises, herrings, presidents, criminals, musicians, journalists, web designers and athletes whose behaviour would benefit from more reason and less belief. We haven't the resources necessary for such large-scale projects.

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