90-y-o tortoise is now a dad
A 90-year-old tortoise who was named Mr Pickles has become a father for the first time.
The Houston Zoo has announced that the beloved radiated tortoise has welcomed three hatchlings, Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeno. with his partner, 53-year-old Mrs Pickles.
Mr and Mrs Pickles have been a couple for almost 30 years and became companions when she arrived at Houston Zoo in 1996. Mr Pickles is the zoo's oldest resident and has lived there for 36 years.
The arrival of the hatchlings is particularly significant as radiated tortoises typically only live only 40 to 50 years and are known to produce few offspring.
In a blog post, the zoo said: "The new hatchlings came as a surprise when a herpetology keeper happened upon Mrs Pickles as the tortoise was laying her eggs and getting them to the safety of the Reptile and Amphibian House."
Sniffing sweat could help anxiety
Sniffing somebody else's sweat could help to treat social anxiety.
New research saw armpit perspiration taken from volunteers who watched either happy or scary film clips, before the samples were used alongside more conventional mindfulness techniques that help treat the disorder. The study revealed that mindfulness was more effective when combined with sniffing the body odour.
The research involved 48 women who suffered from social anxiety, some of whom were exposed to clean air, and others to body odour.
Patients who completed a mindfulness session while exposed to body odours saw a 39 per cent reduction in social anxiety, but those who had a session in clean air had just a 17 per cent decrease in their anxiety scores.
Elisa Vigna, who led the study for the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, admits that the findings came as a "surprise".
She said: "We were a little surprised to find that the emotional state of the person producing the sweat didn't differ in treatment outcomes, sweat produced while someone was happy had the same effect as someone who had been scared by a movie clip."