HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
'Work stinks': It's more than just a slogan among ants, researchers find

Peer into the deep recesses of an ant colony and you'll discover an extremely well organized community with thousands of workers quietly going about their jobs. Some dig nests while others gather food or tend the young. Remarkably, every chore is done without supervision or direction, and some workers even switch jobs to meet the ever-changing needs of the colony.

How does an insect with a brain the size of a poppy seed decide to carry out a particular task? The answer, says a team of Stanford University biologists, has less to do with brainpower than with the ant`s extraordinary sense of smell. Writing in the journal Nature, the Stanford scientists found that, when a parade of patroller ants returns to the nest, their distinctive body odor cues other workers to go out and forage for food. This new insight into the behavior of social insects is the latest discovery to emerge from a 20-year field study of red harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex barbatus) in the southern Arizona desert - a project designed and led by Deborah M. Gordon, an associate professor of biological sciences at Stanford.

"The question is, how does a worker know what to do?" said Gordon, coauthor of the May 1 Nature study. "There's nobody in charge, there's nobody telling it what to do."

A mature colony of red harvester ants consists of a single queen and 10,000 to 12,000 female workers. The lifespan of a worker is only one year, but a queen can live 20 years and produce thousands of new workers annually. In fact, egg-laying is the queen's only responsibility. She has nothing to do with running the colony or assigning workers to specific tasks.

Understanding the subtle cues and interactions that enable small-brained insects to build elaborate communities has become a major area of research, not only for biologists but also for engineers trying to solve intricate problems in computer science, network communications and even robotics.

"Ant colonies offer an exampl
'"/>

Contact: Dawn Levy
dawnlevy@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
30-Apr-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Related biology news :

1. Cleaner water, more efficient electricity among UH chemical research
2. Alcohol-use and depression among pregnant and postpartum women
3. Parents are top influence on soft-drink consumption among kids
4. University of Pittsburgh medical center among first to implant heart assist device
5. Professor and student among tops in technology at UH
6. UCSD study shows how we perceive world depends on precise division of labor among cells in brain
7. Chronic respiratory symptoms prevalent among Alaska natives
8. Specifying alcohol-related brain-damage among heavy social drinkers
9. Researchers identify unifying code among diverse classes of natural antibiotics
10. Marsupial among model organisms next in line for sequencing
11. Mastectomy dramatically reduces breast cancer risk among women with BRCA1/2 mutations

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Work stinks more than just slogan among ants researchers find

(Date:3/26/2015)... 26, 2015 The Granite Club, ... and athletic club, today announced it has implemented a ... of movement for members and staff, while restricting access ... process, we selected FST,s IMID Access system because it ... our members and staff, in addition to unparalleled security," ...
(Date:3/24/2015)... , Mar. 24, 2015 Research and Markets ... of the "Global Iris Recognition Market 2015-2019" ... the Global Iris Recognition market to grow at a ... This report covers the present scenario and the ... the period 2015-2019. To calculate the market size, the ...
(Date:3/24/2015)... ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/kvdtcw/face_and_voice ) has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. This report analyzes the worldwide ... following Segments: Face Biometrics, and Voice Biometrics. The report provides separate ... Japan , Europe , ... Africa , and Latin America . ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Granite Club First Private Club in North America to Implement FST Biometrics Secure Access Solution, as Part of Multi-million Dollar Expansion 2Global Iris Recognition Market 2015-2019 with 3M Cogent, Bioenable Technologies, Cross Match Technology, Iris ID Systems & Safran Dominating 2Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 2Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 3Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 4Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 5Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 6
(Date:3/29/2015)... , March 29, 2015  Caris Life ... in which Caris Molecular Intelligence®, the company,s panomic, ... and differences between several rare and difficult to ... that have the potential to improve patient outcomes. ... B at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) ...
(Date:3/29/2015)... 29, 2015  Caris Life Sciences® today ... small cell cervical cancer (SCCC) that shows ... the company,s panomic, comprehensive tumor profiling service, identified ... may explain sensitivities and resistance to common ... certain biomarkers may guide treatment strategies in ...
(Date:3/29/2015)... , March 29, 2015 Caris ... important study data showing the presence of ... gynecologic cancer samples. Using Caris Molecular Intelligence®, ... researchers identified expression of programmed cell death ... of histology while its ligand (PD-L1) expression ...
(Date:3/29/2015)... As a symbol of its commitment to ... manufacturing clients, Whitehouse Laboratories is excited to announce that ... Team for the 2015 race season. Success on the ... strong sense of precision and attention to detail. These ... the quality control testing laboratory. Sponsorship of the race ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Caris Molecular Intelligence Facilitates Comparison of Biomarker Profiles to Inform Targeted Treatment Strategies in Distinct Gynecological Cancers 2Caris Molecular Intelligence Facilitates Comparison of Biomarker Profiles to Inform Targeted Treatment Strategies in Distinct Gynecological Cancers 3Caris Molecular Intelligence Facilitates Comparison of Biomarker Profiles to Inform Targeted Treatment Strategies in Distinct Gynecological Cancers 4Study Using Caris Molecular Intelligence Multiplatform Tumor Profiling Identifies Potential Treatment Strategies for Small Cell Cervical Cancer 2Study Using Caris Molecular Intelligence Multiplatform Tumor Profiling Identifies Potential Treatment Strategies for Small Cell Cervical Cancer 3Caris Life Sciences' Multiplatform Tumor Profiling Technology Identifies Expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in Gynecologic Malignancies 2Caris Life Sciences' Multiplatform Tumor Profiling Technology Identifies Expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in Gynecologic Malignancies 3Caris Life Sciences' Multiplatform Tumor Profiling Technology Identifies Expression of PD-1 and PD-L1 in Gynecologic Malignancies 4Whitehouse Laboratories Reaffirms Commitment to Speedy Results – Renews Sponsorship of Berkenstock Racing Team 2
Cached News: