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
Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz
Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
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24.02.2017 | Life Sciences
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