Your daily selection of the latest science news!
According to New Scientist (This article and its images were originally posted on New Scientist November 22, 2018 at 02:42PM.)
Do you wish your coughing, sneezing colleagues would stay away from the office? Unlike some humans, ants seem to understand the importance of avoiding others when they are infected. When foraging ants are exposed to a fungal pathogen, they reduce their contact with workers inside the nest.
Nathalie Stroeymeyt at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and colleagues studied colonies of Lasius niger ants using an automated ant-tracking system.
Workers in these colonies are split into nurses, which work inside the nest caring for the brood, and foragers, which collect food outside the nest. Foragers are most likely to pick up infections, but they interact less with other ants, and come into contact with those inside the nest infrequently.
To see more posts like these; please subscribe to our newsletter. By entering a valid email, you’ll receive top trending reports delivered to your inbox.