Ant

Robotic ants provide path to real ant brains

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 28, 2013   View Article

Robots built to mimic ants suggest that real ants waste little, if any, mental energy deciding which way to go when they reach an uneven fork in the road, according to a new study. Instead, the ants just take the easiest route as dictated by geometry.

“The shape of their network relieves some of the cognitive load for the ants; they don’t need to think about it,” Simon Garnier, a biologist at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, told NBC News. “The shape of their networks has constrained their movement in a way that is more efficient for them.”

The findings have implications for understanding ant biology as well as how humans design transportation networks for the flow of people, information and goods.

Stinging needle ants overtaking invasive Argentines in U.S.

Publication: NBC News   Date: February 11, 2013   View Article

A stinging ant from Asia is spreading with a vengeance across the United States and may prove more devastating to people and the environment than the well-established aggressive Argentine ant currently is, according to new research.

“While Argentine ants cause a lot of damage, Asian needle ants are a really big health threat to humans,” Eleanor Spicer Rice, an entomologist at North Carolina State University, told NBC News.

Ant-inspired Internet – the ‘Anternet’ – may be coming soon

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 27, 2012   View Article

Ants get stuff done without anyone in control. Understanding how they do what they do could help us design more robust and efficient networks, according to a biologist who studies ant colony behavior.

A recent study shows that harvester ants, for example, regulate how many ants are out searching for food in a way that resembles how Internet protocols regulate the amount of data being transferred according to the amount of available bandwidth.

Ant frying tech could make solar cheap

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 3, 2011   View Article

Admit it. You fried an ant under a magnifying glass. It’s OK. We did it too. Now scientists are reporting a breakthrough in a similar technology that could bring down the cost of solar power.

About 50 percent of the cost of solar power is due to the materials and manufacturing of solar cells, essentially pieces of silicon that convert sunlight into electricity. By concentrating the sunlight, you can get the same amount of power with fewer cells.

Lizards Evolving Rapidly to Survive Deadly Fire Ants

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 21, 2009   View Article

Long legs and skittish behavior are recently evolved traits that allow fence lizards in the southeastern U.S. to co-exist with lethal and invasive fire ants, according to a new study.

The new findings could boost hopes for species whose habitats are quickly changing due to climate change, experts say.

Inland Ants Crave Salt

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 28, 2008   View Article

Salt-deprived animals and insects living far inland from some coasts may benefit if global warming increases hurricane intensity, a new study suggests.

Animal Photos Weekly: Blind Ant, Lion Brothers, More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 17, 2008   View Article

Captions for photos of animals in the news. Shots include an “ant from Mars,” a well-dressed camel, resting lions, a captured rhinoceros, and stranded fish in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach