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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...

2008-01-25 06:48:37

Infectious stomach flus may be gut-wrenching for us, but consider the plight of some tropical black ants: When infected by tiny nematode worms, the ants' rumps resemble a bright-red, bird-attracting berry. The parasites' strange transformative ability might help it spread to other ant colonies, scientists report in two new studies. Birds normally avoid eating the foul-tasting ants, but the berry-like temptation may be too much, said researcher Steve Yanoviak, an insect...

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2008-01-16 20:10:00

Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, have discovered the first example of fruit mimicry caused by a parasitic organism.  The parasite, a type of roundworm called a nematode, causes its host, in this case an ant, to grow a bright red abdomen that resembles the ripe berries found throughout their tropical forest environment. The researchers believe the parasite induces this dramatic effect on its hosts as a way to trick birds into eating the infected ants.  This provides...


Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.