America's innovation edge now in peril, says report

A sweeping new report urges significant policy and funding action to ensure the United States does not lose the preeminent position in discovery and innovation it has built since the end of World War II.

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European wildcats, thought to be extinct 50 or so years ago in the Jura mountains, have since recolonised part of their former territory. This resurgence in an area occupied by domestic cats has gone hand-in-hand with genetic ...

Penicillium camemberti: a history of domestication on cheese

The white, fluffy layer that covers Camembert is made of a mold resulting from human selection, similar to the way dogs were domesticated from wolves. A collaboration involving French scientists from the CNRS has shown, through ...

Survey explores impact of technology-facilitated abuse

A team from The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and University College London is examining how domestic and sexual violence survivors are being impacted by Internet of Things (IoT) technology, ...

Youths beware of bullying by best friends

We wouldn't expect best friends to bully each other—but they can in unexpected ways. Sometimes, bullying behaviour by young people that would usually be considered harmful is accepted by a victim, because they greatly value ...

Covid and commercial research decline

Inevitably, the rapid spread of an emergent and potentially lethal virus around the world has led to huge disruption of normal life. With talk of a new-normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not yet have any way ...

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Domestication

Domestication (from Latin domesticus) or taming refers to the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. A defining characteristic of domestication is artificial selection by humans. Some species such as the Asian Elephant, numerous members of which which have for many centuries been used as working animals, are not domesticated because they have not normally been bred under human control, even though they have been commonly tamed. Humans have brought these populations under their care for a wide range of reasons: to produce food or valuable commodities (such as wool, cotton, or silk), for help with various types of work (such as transportation or protection), for protection of themselves and livestock, to enjoy as companions or ornamental plant, and for scientific research, such as finding cures for certain diseases.

Plants domesticated primarily for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home are usually called house plants or ornamentals, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are generally called crops. A distinction can be made between those domesticated plants that have been deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics (see cultigen) and those domesticated plants that are essentially no different from their wild counterparts (assuming domestication does not necessarily imply physical modification). Likewise, animals domesticated for home companionship are usually called pets while those domesticated for food or work are called livestock or farm animals.

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