Publication Keascience: For This New Zealand Parrot, “Laughter” Is Contagious

When people are feeling playful, they giggle and laugh, making others around them want to laugh and play too. Now, researchers reporting in Current Biology on March 20 have found that the particularly playful kea parrot from New Zealand has a “play call” with a similarly powerful influence. When other kea hear that call, it puts them into a playful mood. The findings make kea the first known non-mammal to have such an “emotionally contagious” vocalization, the researchers say. Earlier studies had made similar findings for chimpanzees and rats.

More information [Link 1]


Publication Dog Science: Can my dog wait on its own for better treat?

 [Link 3]

Male poison frogs become cannibals after taking over territories

Systematic “infanticide” of unrelated young occurs in several animal species. For carnivores and primates, infanticidal actions are mainly sexually motivated. The aim is to gain quicker access to female mating partners. A study by the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has shown for the first time that also male poison frogs selectively eat other males’ offspring – after having taken over their rivals’ territories. However, as soon as they have established their own territory, they care for every clutch within these borders – also for unrelated ones. The scientists were able to show impressively that even simple decision rules can mediate a complex behavioural pattern such as parental care. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

More information [Link 4]


“Here’s a treat for you!” – Dogs share food with other dogs even in complex situations

Humans aren’t the only species to exhibit behaviour benefiting others of their kind, such as helping or sharing. Dogs also share their food, albeit mainly with four-legged friends rather than strangers. A new study conducted by behavioural biologists from the Messerli Research Institute at Vetmeduni Vienna has now confirmed this prosocial behaviour among canines. The more complex methodology of the study, however, showed that the experimental set-up has an impact on the dogs’ behaviour and that even the mere presence of another dog makes the animals more generous. On the other hand, prosocial dogs remained less charitable with unfamiliar partners. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

More information [Link 5]


Positive effect of winter dormancy on cold-blooded cognition

Unlike mammals, amphibians who rest-up during the winter do not forget the memories they made beforehand – this is the surprising discovery of new scientific research published. A new study, by researchers from the Messerli Research Institute of Vetmeduni Vienna and University Vienna and University of Lincoln, reveals that the processes involved in winter dormancy may have a fundamentally different impact on memory in amphibians and mammals. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

More information [Link 6]


Award: Wolfgang Denk-Award for Josef Singer

Josef Singer receives the „Wolfgang Denk-Award“ of the Austrian Society for Hematology and Oncology (OeGHO) 2016

On occasion of the joint annual meeting of the German, Austrian and Swiss societies for hematology and medical oncology in Leipzig (14-18 October 2016), Dr. Josef Singer was selected for the work "Proof of concept study with HER-2 mimotope anticancer vaccine deduced from A novel AAV-mimotope library platform". [Link 7]

In April 2016 it has been published in the top journal" OncoImmunology ". The work was developed under supervision of Prof. Erika Jensen-Jarolim, Comparative Medicine of the MFI ( [Link 8] [Link ]

The Wolfgang Denk-Price of the OeGHO was created in memory of the surgeon and founder of the Austrian Cancer Research Institute Wolfgang Denk (1882-1970). Every year the price is awarded for scientific work in the field of clinical oncology. Dr. Josef Singer researched under the guidance of Prof. Erika Jensen-Jarolim at the Institute for Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at MedUni Vienna, and is now working as an assistant physician at the Landesklinikum Krems in Lower Austria.

 [Link 9]

Book: Comparative Medicine

In 2014 the book "Comparative Medicine - Anatomy and Physiology“ was published under the editorship of Erika Jensen-Jaorlim by Springer. With today 20,000 downloads it belongs to the top 25% of most often downloaded within Springer eBook Collection.
Erika Jensen-Jarolim represents the ipa- adjunct professor for Comparative Medicine to the  interuniversity Messerli Research Institute.
Link to Springer Homepage [Link 10]


Information for Journalists


Jennifer Bentlage, MSc.
 [Link 11]

Tel.: +43 1 25077-2681

Press releases by Vetmeduni [Link 12]