Canadian Scientists Create Monster Ants

Friday, 06 Jan 2012 11:29 AM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Scientists in Canada have figured out a way to genetically engineer “supersoldier” ants from ordinary worker ants found in North America.
The supersoldiers have distinctive, enormous heads that they use to protect their colonies.

"We uncovered an ancestral development potential to produce a novel supersoldier subcaste that has been retained throughout a hyperdiverse ant genus that evolved 35 [million] to 60 million years ago,” wrote the authors of research published in the journal Science.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, added a touch of hormone to Pheidole morrisi ants. Eight of the approximately 1,100 species of these ants already have the genetic ability to produce supersoldiers, but researchers only recently noticed them being produced naturally.

Study leader Ehab Abouheif, a developmental biologist, thinks the supersoldier code never went away, but that evolutionary forces triggered its return. This could open a window on how evolution works in other animal species.

“These things are totally unappreciated and have been viewed as slips in the developmental system that don’t go anywhere,” Abouheif told Discover magazine. “They’ve been seen as the Barnum and Bailey of evolution – interesting oddities that don’t mean anything. They just indicate that there are ancestral genes. But I think they are a driving force in evolution. They are happening all the time, at rare frequencies.”



© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Mysterious White Flags Appear Atop Brooklyn Bridge

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 13:40 PM

 . . .

Hatch’s Conditions on Inversion Law Spotlight Partisan Gap

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 13:37 PM

 . . .

Report Finds Islamic Plot to Control UK Schools

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 13:35 PM

A British government investigation found evidence Tuesday that Muslim fundamentalists successfully gained control of som . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved