Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fungus amongus (or at least among ants)

Here's a recent post from NPR on  'Zombie' Ants And The Fungus That Saves Them",  relevant to John's lecture on crazy fungi.

"In the current edition of the journal PLoS ONE, an international research team led by David Hughes of Penn State University reports that they've found the fungus that allows an ant colony to survive infestations by a "zombie-ant fungus, which invades an ant's brain and causes it to march to its death at a mass grave near the ant colony, where the fungus spores erupt out of the ant's head."

"In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the parasite of the zombie-ant fungus is itself a fungus — a hyperparasitic fungus that specializes in attacking the parasite that turns the ants into zombies," Hughes said."

In Science Daily, too.  The article will be published shortly in Plos One, but in the meantime here is a link to David Hughes website to learn more about what he is researching.

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