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A Mutation Turned Ants Into Parasites in One Generation
A new genetics study of ant “social parasites” shows how complex sets of features can emerge rapidly and potentially split species.
Ants Live 10 Times Longer by Altering Their Insulin Responses
Queen ants live far longer than genetically identical workers. Researchers are learning what their longevity secrets could mean for aging in other species.
How Supergenes Fuel Evolution Despite Harmful Mutations
Supergenes that lock inherited traits together are widespread in nature. Recent work shows that their blend of genetic benefits and risks for species can be complex.
How Do Fireflies Flash in Sync? Studies Suggest a New Answer.
Field research suggests a new explanation for the synchronized flashing in fireflies and confirms that a novel form of “chimeric” synchrony occurs naturally.
How Do New Organs Evolve? A Beetle Gland Shows the Way.
The evolution of a defensive gland in beetles shows how organs can arise from novel cells carving out new functional niches for their neighbors.
A Scientist Who Delights in the Mundane
From crumpled paper to termite mounds to three-sided coins, L. Mahadevan has turned the whole world into his laboratory.
How Two Became One: Origins of a Mysterious Symbiosis Found
Carpenter ants need endosymbiotic bacteria to guide the early development of their embryos. New work has reconstructed how this deep partnership evolved.
Secrets of Math From the Bee Whisperer
As Scarlett Howard taught honeybees to do arithmetic, they showed her how fundamental numbers might be to all brains.
Why Evolution Reversed These Insects’ Sex Organs
Among these cave insects, the females evolved to have penises — twice. The reasons challenge common assumptions about sex.