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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
- 6 March 2014 1:04 pm , Vol. 343 , #6175
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ScienceShot: Ant Queens Rob Their Own Cradles
10 January 2014 1:00 pm
When looking for mates, some ant species don’t venture far from the family tree. In colonies of an ant from the Philippines, pictured above (Cardiocondyla argyrotricha), newly mature males will fight to the death to mate with their sister-queens. But often, there aren’t enough males to go around. So to form new colonies, virgin queens mate with their own sons, researchers report in Naturwissenschaften. To make the discovery, the scientists set up 31 artificial ant colonies with an unhatched queen and a set of sterile female worker ants and watched for the emergence of unfertilized male and fertilized female pupae. In all the colonies, queens could not lay female eggs until after a son was ready to reproduce. They even filmed one mother-son pair in the act of mating. Such coupling in ants, wasps, and bees is rare because it usually produces large numbers of sterile males. But these Oedipal insects seem to have found ways to avoid that problem.