A 10-year-old British boy had such a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder that he was overwrought with guilt that he had caused the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attacks, in that he had not been able that day to make his ritual step upon a particular mark in the street. Writing in June in the journal Neurocase, psychologists at University College London said the boy recovered only when they convinced him that the attacks had already started by the time he would have made his usual step.
Many nations are exploring how to curb cattle's release of the greenhouse gas methane, including altering cows' diets to reduce flatulence (which requires monitoring the gas compositions from the old and new diets). To collect the gas for measurement (according to a July report in London's Daily Telegraph), researchers at Argentina's National Institute of Agricultural Technology rigged a large plastic tank to the cow's back, with a tube to the backside to directly capture each emission. (The alternative, researchers pointed out, would require a human to follow a cow around with plastic bags.)
Higher-Order Animal Research: Britain's Sea Life Centre announced a study in July that would give octopuses Rubik's Cubes to play with, to ascertain whether they use a certain tentacle for such activities, or any tentacle at random.
Writing in the journal Nature in July, a team of University of Oregon biologists showed that roundworms do "calculus"-type computations, using chemosensory neurons, to determine how to find food or avoid trouble.