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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Swarming Locusts Grow Big Brains
25 May 2010 7:01 pm
When desert locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) become too great in number, they transform from solitary insects into swarming crop raiders. Their brains also get a lot bigger, according to a study published online tomorrow in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In the study, computer-assisted laser microscopy was used to create images like the one above, which shows that the brain of the gregarious locusts (right image, above) is 30% larger than those of solitary locusts. The images also revealed that solitary locusts have proportionately larger sensory regions (blue and cyan), which are used for vision and the perception of smells, whereas gregarious locusts have proportionately larger regions that deal with higher brain functions (yellow and orange), such as learning and memory. The higher brain functions may help gregarious locusts survive in the densely packed groups where competition for food is so fierce that cannibalism occurs.
See more ScienceShots.