A study on chimpanzees, the closest species to humans genetically, found cardiovascular health similarities between chimpanzees and humans.
When chimpanzees have a plant-based diet and substantial opportunities to exercise, they fall into "healthy" human ranges.
Lab chimpanzees, whose diet and exercise were limited, showed conditions indicative of cardiovascular disease risk, more like sedentary people, reports Xinhua.
The findings have been published in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions B on "The evolution of the primate aging process".
Researchers from the University of Michigan (UM) and University of New Mexico partnered with wildlife veterinarians in Uganda and Congo to examine cardiovascular profiles in chimpanzees living in African sanctuaries, according to the findings posted on UM's website on Monday.
These chimpanzees occupy large rainforest enclosures, consume a diet of fruits and vegetables, and generally experience conditions more similar to a wild chimpanzee lifestyle.
They measured blood lipids, body weight and body fat in 75 sanctuary chimpanzees during annual veterinary health check-ups, and then compared them to published data from laboratory-living chimpanzees.
Free-ranging chimpanzees in sanctuaries exhibited lower body weight and lower levels of lipids, both risk factors for human cardiovascular disease. Some of these disparities increased with age, indicating that the free-ranging chimpanzees stayed healthy as they got older.
"Our findings support the hypothesis that lifestyle shapes health in chimpanzees, similar to effects in humans, and contribute to an emerging understanding of cardiovascular health in evolutionary context," said Alexandra Rosati, UM assistant professor of psychology and anthropology.
The work also showed that chimpanzees living a naturalistic life have much lower levels of blood lipids even as they age, providing a new reference for understanding human health.
"These results show how the high-quality, natural conditions that chimpanzees experience in African sanctuaries fosters their long-term health," Rosati said.
China on Monday sent a new ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
A Long March-4B rocket carrying the Haiyang-2C (HY-2C) satellite took off at 1:40 p.m. (Beijing Time), according to the launch center, reports Xinhua.
The country's third ocean dynamic environment satellite, the HY-2C, will form a network with the previous HY-2B and subsequent HY-2D to carry out high-precision maritime environment monitoring.
Monday's launch was the 347th by the Long March rocket series.
China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 has traveled 155 million km, according to Zhang Rongqiao, chief designer of China's first Mars exploration mission.
As of 8:30 a.m. on Friday, the probe was in stable condition at a distance of more than 18 million km away from Earth, Zhang said at the ongoing 2020 China Space Conference held in Fuzhou, capital of east China's Fujian Province.
The probe has successfully captured a photo of Earth and the moon, and completed its first mid-course orbital correction and self-check on multiple payloads, Zhang added.
China launched the Mars probe on July 23, kicking off the country's independent planetary exploration mission. The spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, is expected to reach the red planet around February 2021.
The expected touchdown date is May 2021, about three months after Tianwen-1 arrives in the Mars orbit.
"Reaching Mars' gravitational field and landing on the planet remain the major difficulties, with all kinds of potential risks," Zhang said, adding that the engineering team is still fine-tuning the probe's flight control and preliminary restoration schemes.
The oldest known animal sperm in the world has been discovered by a team of Chinese paleontologists along with their counterparts from Germany and Britain, reports Xinhua.
The sperm came from a species of crustacean named ostracod, sometimes known as “seed shrimp”- widely distributed in oceans, lakes, swamps, rivers and ponds.
The researchers discovered the ostracod sperm in a piece of amber dating 100 million years ago in Myanmar, according to the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It weighs 0.676 gram and contains 39 ostracod specimens.
In a published paper on the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the researchers stated that the ancient ostracod could produce giant sperms and engaged in sexual reproduction just like its present-day offspring. In spite of being more than one-third of the animal's body length, the ancient ostracod sperm bears a close resemblance to its modern forms.
"Huge sperm can effectively improve the success rate of mating, which may be an important reason for the large ostracod populations," said Wang He, a member of the research team and a researcher with the institute in Nanjing. Before this latest discovery, the oldest confirmed animal sperm dated to about 50 million years ago.
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A medium-sized bus equipped with autonomous driving technologies made its debut on Thursday in Chongqing Municipality, a vehicle-manufacturing powerhouse in southwest China.
The L4 autonomous bus was a joint effort of Baidu Apollo and domestic bus manufacturer King Long, reports Xinhua.
After one-year construction, a test base for autonomous driving was put into use on Thursday in Chongqing.
Several carmakers have carried out L4 self-driving tests and demonstrations in five application scenarios.
Baidu Apollo will work together with Chongqing to set a benchmark for the self-driving industry in west China, and provide R&D test services and rich application scenarios for carmakers and auto parts manufacturers in the autonomous vehicle field, said Li Zhenyu, vice president of Baidu.