Supersoldier Ants

Sometimes I wonder how scientists get the funding that they do.  Okay, so they’re sitting at some kind of board meeting, and they’re pitching their research.  “We’re going to basically make superants.”  And someone is listening to them, stroking his/her chin, and slams down his/her hands and says, “BRILLIANT.  How much do you need?”  I am glad that people think this way, though, because the closer I can get to having half human/half ant bodyguards, the better.

The international team of scientists, led by Dr Ehab Abouheif of the Department of Biology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, looked at the genomes of two ant species that produce supersoldiers. They identified the genetics behind the supersoldier caste and were able to activate the genes by treating ant larvae with methoprene, a growth hormone. As expected, the ant larvae became supersoldiers.

[Read more: Psyorg]