What's the buzz

What's the buzz

How a bee grows up to be a queen?

Putting a new piece into the puzzle of what makes a bee grow up to be a queen, researchers have found that a key protein in the insulin signaling pathway plays a strong role in caste development among bees.

The study by researchers in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University not only adds to understanding about bees, but also adds insights into our own development and aging.

A female bee can become either a worker or a queen. Queen bees are larger and live longer than workers. Queen bees are also fertile while workers are essentially sterile. A queen has only one role — to lay eggs — while workers tend the hive, care for the queen and larvae, and forage for food.

Workers determine the fate of the larvae by what they feed them. The amount and composition of food that the larvae receive determine whether they become workers or queens.

People have known this for many years, but exactly what happens inside the cells to create this split isn’t completely clear.

The researchers found that the insulin signalling pathway plays a role in caste

Mice sniff out whether food is safe to eat
Scientists have revealed how mice sniff out scent of food on the breath of their fellow mice to decide whether it’s safe to eat or not.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore knew how mice pair a particular odour with a chemical ingredient found in mouse breath.

And now they know how mice manage to sniff that connection out.

“It’s as if the mouse were thinking something like, ‘My buddy ate food that smelled just like what I have in front of me. He isn’t dead. Therefore, this food must be safe to eat’,” explained Steven Munger.

“We found that a small subdivision of the olfactory system-one that differs from the rest of the olfactory system in the expression of key proteins used to translate a chemical stimulus into neural signals and in the way it connects to the brain-is specialised for detecting this social stimulus.”

“When function of this olfactory subsystem is disrupted, mice can no longer make sense of this social signal, and thus they fail to make a positive judgment about the food. We now have an answer to the question of how mice can communicate complex information just by breathing on each other,” added Munger.

Ramesses II temple foundin Upper Egypt
The remains of a 3,000 year old temple dating from the reign of ancient Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II have been unearthed in the excavations in Upper Egypt’s Ehnasia archaeological area.

Ramesses II ruled Egypt from 1279-1213 BC and was the son of Seti I, whose secret ‘tomb within a tomb’ was uncovered in June in the Valley of the Kings in central Egypt.
“Inside the remains of this temple, excavators uncovered 10 cartouches of Ramesses II and beneath them a relief saying that the ruler had built this temple for himself in Ehnasia,” said Sabri Abdel Aziz of Egypt’s Supreme Archaeology.

A collection of terracotta statues depicting Isis, Aphrodite and Horus were found inside along with pots and clay lamps, he said.

The team of archaeologists will continue excavation of the temple during the next archaeological season, Aziz added.

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