'Shadow pandemic' of domestic violence

Violence against women increased to record levels around the world following lockdowns to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The United Nations called the situation a "shadow pandemic" in a 2021 report about domestic ...

How intimate partner violence affects custody decisions

Intimate partner violence (IPV) can have significant implications for the well-being of mothers and children during separation and divorce. Yet IPV is often not included in custody cases or factored into court decisions, ...

Debunking myths about gun violence

Following gun violence tragedies, familiar myths get recycled and recirculated—myths that distract from effective solutions and create smoke screens around the essential problem: We're more interested in protecting sellers ...

Genetic clues to how dogs became man's best friends

Two mutations in the melanocortin 2 receptor gene—which is involved in the production of the stress hormone cortisol—may have played a role in the domestication of dogs by allowing them to develop social cognitive skills ...

Exploring wildlife's 'worm-wide web'

Many of us try to repress the thought of them, while others have come to accept them. Whatever your take on parasites is, they can tell scientists a lot about ecology, health and the environment.

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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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