Science on the Cutting Edge 

American researchers in West Africa believe they've found the first instance of an animal (other than humans) building a multi-step weapon, after observing wild chimpanzees grab sticks from 1 to 4 feet long, sharpen the ends with their teeth, and murderously jab them into deep tree hollows where delicious bush babies may be nesting. Writing in the journal Current Biology, the team even reported observing the chimps tasting the tips after the stabs, to ascertain whether they had actually located a prey. (One of the researchers said the ferocity of the jabbing reminded her of the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho.")

Researchers at the Second University of Naples (Caserta, Italy) recently reported the case of a 65-year-old man who, because of damage to the fronto-temporal region of his brain, habitually assumes an identity appropriate to whatever setting he finds himself in (e.g., a doctor when he's around doctors, a bartender when in a bar), a behavior reminiscent of the Woody Allen character Zelig. The researchers said the man lacks awareness about his tendency to switch roles and in fact suffers from amnesia about his life since the brain damage, according to a March report by the British Psychological Society.

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