Scientists Create Supersoldier Ants

One has to ask: can anything good come out of this? Via PhysOrg:

There are over 1100 species of Pheidole genus ants, and most individual ants belong to either the worker or soldier caste. In only eight of the Pheidole species, some individuals can belong to a “supersoldier” subcaste instead, and these ants fight off predatory army ant species and bar their way by blocking off the entrances to the nest using their over-sized heads. Now, scientists have managed to create supersoldiers in other species by reactivating ancestral genes.

supersoldier ant

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.

They then treated in the same way larvae of Pheidole morrisi, an ant species which lives in New York and that does not normally produce supersoldiers, but which lead author, Dr Abouheif, had previously noted produced large-headed ants resembling supersoldiers on rare occasions. The treated larvae grew to become large headed and jawed ants resembling supersoldiers. The same effect was produced in two other Pheilode species, which are not known to produce supersoldiers…

[continues at PhysOrg]

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  • Rex Vestri
  • Rex Vestri
    • http://www.facebook.com/elpolloloco52 Josh Adkisson

      Dear Jesus…

  • justagirl

    what a regrettably large head you have.  i should very much like to hat it.

  • justagirl

    what a regrettably large head you have.  i should very much like to hat it.

    • justagirl

       i have a bit of a lisp.  he he.

  • justagirl

     i have a bit of a lisp.  he he.

  • Toxiczen

    no nothing bad will come from this… :/

  • Toxiczen

    no nothing bad will come from this… :/

  • Anarchy Pony

    What is this? Scientists do stupid things that will likely backfire horribly week?

  • Anarchy Pony

    What is this? Scientists do stupid things that will likely backfire horribly week?

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      Silly pony: That’s every week!

      • Anarchy Pony

        I stand corrected.

  • Nunzio X

     Huh.

    Well, off topic maybe, but perhaps not:

    You know where cousins come from? Aunt holes.

    Thanks. I’ll be here all week. Be sure to tip the wait staff.

  • Nunzio X

     Huh.

    Well, off topic maybe, but perhaps not:

    You know where cousins come from? Aunt holes.

    Thanks. I’ll be here all week. Be sure to tip the wait staff.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Isnt that just buggy Elephantitis?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OUKNXAYL5L3QAC5EULUTXDCBFA Nathan

      dude, just read some stuff on your blog, even that whole long-ass conversation,
      you’re cool as fuck man, too bad I can’t like PM you here

      • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

        Hah, just long winded rantings of a madman. You can always comment on the articles though,they’re rare enough that i tend to respond to them.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Isnt that just buggy Elephantitis?

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Silly pony: That’s every week!

  • Anarchy Pony

    I stand corrected.

  • Anon

    this is all a by product of the socialist jew run media that’s been pumped into our children’s heads from day one.

    also, homo.

    • Jin The Ninja

      yes, that is EXACTLY the analysis this article was lacking…..insert eye roll (here)

  • Anon

    this is all a by product of the socialist jew run media that’s been pumped into our children’s heads from day one.

    also, homo.

  • DeepCough

    They warned us about this! IN MOVIES!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AOspwNxjtE

  • DeepCough

    They warned us about this! IN MOVIES!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AOspwNxjtE

  • tooCents

    Why aren’t they growing bigger penises already. I mean uh, not that I want one. Just saying

  • Anonymous

    Why aren’t they growing bigger penises already. I mean uh, not that I want one. Just saying

  • Jin (仁)

    yes, that is EXACTLY the analysis this article was lacking.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Trying to control the future
    is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
    When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
    chances are that you’ll cut yourself.
    Tao Te Ching #74b

  • BuzzCoastin

    Trying to control the future
    is like trying to take the master carpenter’s place.
    When you handle the master carpenter’s tools,
    chances are that you’ll cut yourself.
    Tao Te Ching #74b

  • Dunzain

    If the human genome was modified after birth to grow a big skull, would the brain grow to take advantage of the new space? 

    By the way, probably no accident that the head of the supersoldier ant looks like a dickhead.

  • Dunzain

    If the human genome was modified after birth to grow a big skull, would the brain grow to take advantage of the new space? 

    By the way, probably no accident that the head of the supersoldier ant looks like a dickhead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elpolloloco52 Josh Adkisson

    Dear Jesus…

  • http://www.facebook.com/elpolloloco52 Josh Adkisson
  • http://www.facebook.com/elpolloloco52 Josh Adkisson
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OUKNXAYL5L3QAC5EULUTXDCBFA Nathan

    If the same effect was produced in two other species that are not known to produce supersoldiers, then wouldn’t they not be supersoldiers? Just some ant’s with souped up pituitary glands(assuming ant’s have those lol)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OUKNXAYL5L3QAC5EULUTXDCBFA Nathan

    If the same effect was produced in two other species that are not known to produce supersoldiers, then wouldn’t they not be supersoldiers? Just some ant’s with souped up pituitary glands(assuming ant’s have those lol)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OUKNXAYL5L3QAC5EULUTXDCBFA Nathan

    dude, just read some stuff on your blog, even that whole long-ass conversation,
    you’re cool as fuck man, too bad I can’t like PM you here

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Hah, just long winded rantings of a madman. You can always comment on the articles though,they’re rare enough that i tend to respond to them.

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