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The experiment then involved presenting the bears with two sets of dots or “arrays”.
“Basically we were looking to see if they can understand to choose less or choose more,” she said.
They touched the screen to select one or other of the arrays, and were given food if they got the answer right.
“What is so special about this virus that allows it to spread through the animal world so effectively?” asks Jeremy Farrar, a tropical-medicine specialist at the University of Oxford, UK. There are no firm answers.