Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fungus that can turn ants into zombies

Wired reports that scientists have reported that they have discovered 4 new kinds of fungus in Brazil that infect ants, effectively turning them into zombies that serve the will of the fungal infector. Once an ant is infected, the fungus starts controlling the ant's behavior: The ant leaves the colony, climbs up a tree, anchors itself by biting into a leaf, and then dies. The body of the ant is consumed by the fungus and used to disperse spores for up to a year.

These fungi have had a great effect on the human world as well, primarily in the field of medical science. The mind-controlling fungus is in a group related to the fungus that produces LSD, and another fungus used to suppress the immune system to prevent organ transplant rejection, and still yet another used as an antibiotic.

Read full article here: Scientists Find Four New Kinds of Fungus That Zombify Ants | Geekosystem

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