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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Bees Age Faster When They Raise Offspring
17 April 2013 6:00 pm
Your parents always said you were giving them gray hair. Now, science is backing them up, at least in the case of bees. Researchers have found that nurturing the hive's progeny accelerates aging in the insects. In summer, worker honey bees usually spend several weeks feeding the queen's new larvae (the queen is marked in green). Workers then change careers, living out their days as pollen-collecting foragers. They die a mere 2 weeks after making the switch, showing a steep decline in brain function. But bees born just before winter, without a brood to nourish, live nearly a year. To investigate, researchers placed winter bees in a summerlike environment, both with and without young bees to care for. The bees with a brood played along, feeding the babies and then developing into foragers who died after 2 weeks. But brood-free foragers lived up to 10 weeks with no cognitive decline, the researchers report online today in The Journal of Experimental Biology. They noticed high levels of lipofuscin, an "age pigment," in short-lived foragers and much lower levels in longer-lived bees. These changing levels suggest that, for bees, aging is a dynamic process that can be slowed or even reversed. Maybe that explains why your dad started playing bass in a garage band after you left the nest.
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