What can ants and termites teach us about fighting disease?

You live in a crowded underground city with everyone you know. A relative comes home, and you can tell that they've been exposed to something that could get you all sick. Unchecked, a disease could wipe out your whole civilization. ...

Altruism in bacteria: Colonies divide the work

Bacteria found in soil specialize in the colony by division of labor. Some of the bacteria produce antibiotics, even when it comes at the expense of their individual reproduction success, to defend their colony against competitors.

Infected 'zombie ants' face no discrimination from nest mates

Carpenter ants infected with a specialized parasitic fungus are not subjected to aggression or isolation from their nest mates, and they continue to share in the colony's food resources until they leave the nest for the last ...

Lazy ants make themselves useful in unexpected ways

If the first thing that comes to mind when you think about ants is "industrious," you might be in for a surprise. In 2015, biologists at the University of Arizona reported that a sizable chunk of the "workers" that make up ...

Study spells out why some insects kill their mothers

One day a few years ago, while working on wasps in a rainforest in Costa Rica, entomologist Kevin J. Loope, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside, began reading about the enigmatic matricidal ...

How do ants identify different members of their society?

Ants, which are eusocial insects, have intrigued scientists for long as a model for cooperation inside a colony where they nurse the young, gather food and defend against intruders. Most recently, ants have been shown to ...

page 1 from 4