The article “Minds of Their Own” was written by the author Virginia Morell and published in the National Geographic Magazine. In this article Virginia explores the mental abilities of animals and explains how scientists have discovered the intelligence in them. The article begins with an example of a scientist, Irene Pepperberg, who is a Harvard University graduate. She introduced to her laboratory a parrot named Alex and attempted to teach it how to communicate. According to Morell, there are particular skills that are seen to indicate higher mental abilities in animals; a good memory, self-awareness, grasp of grammar and symbols, understanding other’s motives as well as initiating others and the ability to being creative (Morell 1).
After thirty years of providing studies to Alex, Pepperberg observed that Alex dominated over the other parrots which were not trained. Alex acted huffy at the presence of Pepperberg and put up with female human beings while fell to pieces when a male human being was around. After trainaing Alex could communicate through vocal tract sounds imitating English words. Initially only animals like chimpanzees were thought to be showing mental intelligence characteristics but Irene Pepperberg’s experience with the parrot seemed to prove otherwise. Charles Darwin made attempts trying to explain how the intelligence in human beings evolved. He even gave an example of earthworms which he believed had cognitive intelligence. Therefore, Darwin believed that intelligence levels were possible across all the animal kingdom.
Further mental abilities have been demonstrated in dogs with a number of dog owns being able to communicate and understand their dogs. Various experiments therefore exhibit cognitive ability in animals. The animals too like human beings if trained and exposed to a learning environment, they develop mental intelligence and they can even communicate with human beings. They exhibit different degrees of intelligence and hence the necessity to change the notion that animals are mere machines.
Stopping a Global Killer
The article “Stopping a Global Killer” was written by Michael Finkel and published in the National Geographic Magazine in the year 2007. In his article Finkel explores Malaria disease and how into comes into claiming a number of lives. Mosquitoes spread Malaria through their painless bites especially during the night time. The male mosquitoes are not interested in human blood. On the other hand, female mosquitoes are interested in the protein rich hemoglobin human blood. The female parasites use this blood for the nourishment of their eggs. To prevent blood from coagulation, the mosquitoes oil the bite area using their saliva. Such saliva contain worm like creatures. The creatures are called plasmodia which are single celled and they are responsible for spreading malaria. Single plasmodium in a human’s blood stream is as deadly as killing a person.
The plasmodium remains in the blood for a few minutes while invading the circulatory system into the liver cells. The earth is a malarious planet as the disease is endemic to more than 106 nations around the world. This poses a dead threat to more than a half of the world population. This makes malaria a global killer. Malaria is perceived as a disease of the poor nations with the rich ones believed to have gotten rid of it. To disable the disease, every malaria fighting technique has to be initiated such as the use of bed nets as well as malaria drugs availed in hospitals. Current research by scientists across the world aims at finding a vaccine for the global killer disease.
Finkel, Michael. "Stopping A Global Killer; The rapidly spreading disease affects more people than ever before. But until recently, the outcry has been muted." National Geographic July 2007: n. pag. Print.
Morell, Virginia. "Minds of Their Own; Animals are smarter than you think." National Geographic 2013: n. pag. Print.