Researchers perform ultra precise brain surgery on bees in hopes of developing drones/mavs with advanced nighttime navigation.
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A surgeon wielding a micro-scalpel cuts through the head capsule of her subject, the nocturnal sweat bee Megalopta genalis, in a lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. The surgeon, a researcher working under Dr. Eric Warrant, of Lund University in Sweden, inserts a glass electrode thinner than a micrometer into the bee’s brain. She is trying to pierce something very small—a monopolar cell in a layer at the top of the brain called the lamina. Warrant believes these cells are responsible for a trick called neural summation, which helps the bees maximize the use of light photons to see in their dark habitat—the dense tangled undergrowth of the nighttime Panamanian rainforest.