Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Bee genes may drive them to adventure

Posted in Science on 11th Mar, 2012 11:17 PM by AlexMuller

That honeybee lazily probing a flower may actually be a stealth explorer, genetically destined to seek adventure from birth.


Bees who consistently explore new environments for food have different genetic activity in their brains than their less-adventurous hive mates, scientists report in the March 9 Science. This genetic activity relates to making particular chemical signals, some of which are linked to behaviors such as thrill-seeking in people. 


“This is an exciting paper that raises a lot of interesting questions,” says neurobiologist Alison Mercer of the University of Otago in New Zealand.


To test the notion of whether bees have personality, scientists led by entomologist Gene Robinson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on scout bees that embark on reconnaissance missions for food.


The team, which included bee expert Tom Seeley of Cornell University, placed a hive in an enclosure with a brightly colored feeder full of sugar water and marked the bees that visited. A few days later, the researchers added a new feeder to the enclosure, while keeping the original one full of fresh sugar water. Some of the bees discovered the new feeder and were also marked. Then the researchers removed the new feeder and added a different one in a new place. Again, some of the bees discovered this new feeder. The bees that found the new feeder both times were considered scouts, while the bees that ate only at the same old feeder were considered nonscouts.

The researchers then looked at what genes were active in brain tissue of scouts and nonscouts. “We saw massive differences in over 1,000 genes,” says Robinson. Some of these genes relate to the same molecular pathways implicated in novelty-seeking in humans. In people, for example, dopamine has been linked to the reward system, reinforcing the pleasure of doing certain activities. In insects, dopamine can have an inverse role, reinforcing displeasure, or aversion to certain activities, notes Mercer. The activity of a gene related to dopamine in the scout bees was dialed way down, the researchers found, suggesting they may be less averse to new experiences.


The researchers also fed some of the nonscout bees sugar water laced with some of these molecules. Nonscout bees fed glutamate, for example — production of which was amped-up in scouts — became more likely to act as scouts.


The work suggests that evolution may use the same genetic toolkit across species for behavioral traits, much in the way that related genes are used for building body parts, whether in a fruit fly or frog.


And the work adds to growing evidence that humans aren’t the only species that have personalities.


“If you ask people if they think a squid has personality, they usually say no,” says psychologist Sam Gosling of the University of Texas at Austin. But individual squid, and apparently bees, may consistently seek new things. In animals, scientists call that “novelty-seeking,” while people who exhibit similar traits get labels like “extrovert.”

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-12-26
Super jazzed about getting that knww-hoo. Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2019-02-17 11:59:30
    Search to uncover genetic secrets of more
    Posted in Science on 2019-02-17 11:47:23
    Advancing personalized medicine research with open more
    Posted in Medicine on 2019-02-17 11:42:49
    New drug target to control onset of more
    Posted in Hardware on 2019-01-19 15:00:04
    SpaceX Orbital Starship Prototype Built By June 2019 more
    Posted in Hardware on 2019-01-19 14:18:47
    Apple and Samsung Hardest Hit as Smartphone more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Even light drinking increases risk of more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Researchers have discovered how to slow more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Human retinas grown in a dish explain how color vision more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    The smartphone app that can tell you’re depressed before more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Neural networks don’t understand what optical illusions more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me