A new study in ants demonstrates that living in groups leads to improved fitness. The researchers show that, in larger groups, ants take on specialized roles and colony stability increases.
"Error-free genomes from a broad sampling of vertebrates will enable researchers 'to address questions not possible to [answer] before,' adds neuroscientist Erich Jarvis of The Rockefeller University in New York City, who leads G10K."
New York Times
By looking at which genes are activated in the brains of queens and workers of different ant species, Dr. [Daniel] Kronauer and his colleagues determined that a hormone called insulin-peptide 2, or ILP2, played the most important role.
As [A. James] Hudspeth explored the neural mechanisms of hearing over the years, he developed a special appreciation for the intricate anatomy of the inner ear—an appreciation that transcends the laboratory. “I think we as scientists tend to underemphasize the aesthetic aspect of science,” he says.