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Latest Eusociality Stories

2014-06-04 15:23:01

Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press) This week in Molecular Biology and Evolution The social insects, including bees, wasps, ants and termites have developed a highly advanced society where division of labor amongst workers to serve the queen's reproduction has long fascinated biologists who have wanted to uncover the molecular pathways driving the complex behavior of insect societies. In the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Claire...

How Gene Expression Differs Between Castes In Ants
2014-01-30 11:53:06

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz Novel or highly modified genes play a major role in the development of the different castes within ant colonies. Evolutionary biologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) came to this conclusion in a recent gene expression study. Dr. Barbara Feldmeyer and her colleagues at the JGU Institute of Zoology studied the question how the different female castes arise. An ant colony generally consists of a queen and the workers. Moreover, workers can...

Hardworking Sisters Allow Insect Colonies To Thrive
2013-11-21 14:09:25

University of Edinburgh They are among the animal kingdom's most industrious workers … now a study reveals why colonies of ants and bees depend on females for their success. Altruistic workers in social insect colonies – such as ants, bees and wasps – are more likely to be female, because their maternal instincts make them better at caring for the queen's offspring. The findings come from a study of who does what in these highly organized insect societies. In these species, it...

Veil Of Ignorance Is Sometimes Bliss
2013-10-24 08:22:27

Washington University in St. Louis A range of examples suggests a lack of information about their fellows can favor cooperation and prevent conflict among animals — and even among genes For the Oct. 16 issue of Biology Letters, a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of W.D. Hamilton’s famous paper on kin selection, two Washington University in St. Louis biologists contributed an article describing intriguing exceptions to one of his predictions. The basic idea of...

Ants More Genetically Similar To Bees Than Wasps
2013-10-08 15:17:01

[ Watch the Video: Who Could Be The Ant's Next Of Kin? ] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of scientists from the University of California, Davis found that ants are more closely related to bees than to most wasps. Scientists originally believed that ants and bees were more distantly related, with ants being closer to certain parasitoid wasps. However, researchers publishing a paper in the journal Current Biology say that ants and bees are more genetically...

Altruism Or Manipulated Helping?
2013-08-19 09:32:30

National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) Manipulation is often thought of as morally repugnant, but it might be responsible for the evolutionary origins of some helpful or altruistic behavior, according to a new study. In evolutionary biology, manipulation occurs when an individual, the manipulator, alters the behavior of another individual in ways that is beneficial to the manipulator but may be detrimental to the manipulated individual. Manipulation not...

Ant Colony Evolution And Natural Selection
2013-05-16 08:44:57

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online City-states in ancient Greece that waited until their own harvest was in before attacking and destroying a rival community´s crops often experienced better long-term success. Ant colonies that show similar selectivity when gathering food have similar results, according to a new study from Stanford University. Deborah M. Gordon, Stanford biology professor, conducted a long-term study of harvester ants. Her findings, published in...

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2011-12-05 21:13:26

Naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) live in a 'hive' society with one reproducing queen and between one and three reproducing males. The rest of the mole rats in the colony are workers either defending the burrow or finding food — not an easy task when you are virtually blind and all the tunnels smell of mole rat. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that mole rat sperm has become simple and degenerate, probably due to...

Communal Living Of The Insect Kind
2011-11-17 04:20:02

The social lives of ants, wasps and bees have long been a puzzle to scientists. How did complex insect societies – colonies ruled by a queen and many workers – come to be? A new model adds to discontent with old ideas. Social insect society is divided into specialized castes that take on different roles within the nest. Most of the members of a colony — the workers — forego their own chance for reproduction and instead spend their lives raising offspring that aren't...

Image 1 - Developmental Differences Controlled By Rapidly Evolving Genes
2011-09-19 10:15:28

  Genes essential to producing the developmental differences displayed by social insects evolve more rapidly than genes governing other aspects of organismal function, a new study has found. All species of life are able to develop in different ways by varying the genes they express, ultimately becoming different shapes, sizes, colors and sexes. This plasticity permits organisms to operate successfully in their environments. A new study of the genomes of social insects provides...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.