Solitary organisms can minimise fitness loss from parasitism with a facultative change to an earlier reproduction. Such a shift of the reproductive effort gives the host a chance to compensate for the cost on future reproduction resulting from the infection. In the case of social insects, where brood care and reproductive effort are shared between the queen and her workers, adjustments of the reproductive effort would depend on collective decision-making.
In the February issue of Ecology Letters, Moret and Schmid-Hempel at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Zurich, report a study that tested for this possibility by experimentally activating the immune response of individual workers in colonies of the bumblebee Bombus terrestris. This induction resulted, in combination with environmental conditions, in a reduction of fitness of the social unity and a collective response towards earlier reproduction. As both phenomena are expressed at the level of the colony, the result suggests that key elements of the use of immune defence have been maintained through the evolutionary transition to sociality.
Kate Stinchcombe | alfa
Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung
Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
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19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
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19.01.2017 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation