Truly Disturbing Headline: Scientists Breed ‘Supersoldier’ Ants

Oh Lordy, this is what happens when man messes with Mother Nature (and if motion picture has taught us anything, Mother Nature will win).  Read on for the interesting details.

Scientists have discovered a way to activate genes in normal ants that turn them into “supersoldiers” with gigantic heads and jaws.

Only a few species of the genus Pheidole in northern Mexico and the southwest of the United States naturally produce the supersoldiers which fight off attackers and block entry to their nests.

But in a new study published in the journal Science researchers from Canada’s McGill University activated the genes required by dabbing normal ant larvae with methoprene, a chemical that mimics an ant hormone.

The researchers say the supersoldier genes were active in a common ancestor of the all Pheidole species and have been retained as the ants have gone down different evolutionary paths.

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