September 9, 2011

Mind-Controlling Virus Liquefies Caterpillars

Ferris Jabr, NewScientist

USDA/Wiki Commons

It takes just one gene to rule them all. With that gene, a voodoo virus compels its caterpillar hosts to emerge from their shady hideaways, climb en masse to the tops of trees, deliquesce and fall as a rosy rain of viral particles on their fellow healthy caterpillars. Soon, they too will make the climb of doom.

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TAGGED: Caterpillar, Behavior, Viral Infection, Virus


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Meerkats may look cute and cuddly, but for some meerkats, motherhood is a raw deal. Dominant females often kill the young of subordinate females, which then often stick around to serve as her "wet nurses," new research finds. more ››
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A lot of crows come to my backyard looking for peanuts, but this group of five was different. They were scrappy, with tattered white bits of down sticking out from between their black feathers. One of them made a cry more like a... more ››